I've never been to an open gardens event before so when I saw one advertised last weekend I couldn't resist giving it a whirl. The sun shone and ambling from garden to garden was like one never ending summer's day.
I was a little nervous at first but the hosts were so friendly and I soon felt at ease. When I asked permission to take photos they all seemed so thrilled in my interest. I can't imagine how many hours some of them put into their preparation.
There were some wonderful examples of my favourite flowers, many of which are purple.
I've never seen so many alliums. These were our favourite.
I love seeing gardeners encouraging wildlife into their city spaces
and growing their own produce. These were grown by a charming old gentleman in his eighties, recovering from an operation. Gardening fills his hours between Sudoku and crossword puzzles. How lovely to see strawberries uncovered unlike some that are caged off. He openly encourages birds to feast here.
There were some clever ideas like this geranium ladder
and touches of humour - we couldn't be further from the sea here in the Midlands.
So the bear... well, you couldn't miss him...
This fifteen year old bear, was carved from a single piece of oak by a traveller and was delivered in an open truck (lying backwards so the flies wouldn't get into his eyes!) He's named Moreton after his birthplace ( a layby in Moreton-in-March in the Cotswolds). So handsome!
The last garden we visited backs onto our local woods and was stunning.
Each garden was different but they were all beautiful because they were loved. My favourites were the bear, the magnificent alliums in the smallest (lawn-free) garden and the neat rows of veg in the allotment garden.