Six on Saturday: Ready for Visitors (including Dennis)

As some of you will know, we are opening the garden for the National Garden Scheme tomorrow, the first time we have opened in February. It has been a pleasure to be able to share the garden with a wider audience in June for the last three years, and we wanted to share the joys of our winter treasures too. Having prepared a checklist of things to look out for that might be flowering, I was surprised to find this amounted to around 40 different species, with several different snowdrops, hellebores and witch hazels giving a further boost to numbers. Some may just be in bud and others past their best, but this will inevitably vary from year to year – this year the snowdrops are at their peak, the hellebores almost so, but the witch hazels are almost over due to the mild winter, with other species on a similar spectrum. As well as these, there are the foliage plants and other evergreens that provide a permanent structure to the garden.

We were congratulated a week ago for not having chosen last weekend to open, thus avoiding storm Ciara, and had been monitoring the weather forecast as it changed from day-to-day, when out of the blue (and there have been some lovely days this week with startlingly blue skies) we are informed of a new and equally unwelcome visitor: Dennis. Due to visit today and tomorrow, he promised to bring high winds and plenty of rain with him. There has been some rain today, but not a lot, and some windy gusts but we are fairly sheltered here, especially when winds are from the south and south west as they are now. We would only have cancelled the opening if we were covered in snow, so the weather tomorrow and its effect on visitor numbers are out of our control (although we have had a few phonecalls and emails to check if we are still opening) – but everything in our control is ready and waiting for whoever turns up…

The pop-up café, normally the ‘back sitting room’ except on Thursdays when it Grannie’s Nursery, is emptied of its usual furniture and kitted out appropriately:

Plates and cups are other paraphernalia have come down from the loft in readiness:

Information labels for the plant stall have been printed and laminated, ready to be popped into the pots tomorrow. For this February opening it is mostly bulbs for sale, with a few larger plants that are surplus to requirements.

I am very thorough with my notices, and there are several waiting to be hammered into place tomorrow, giving information about various parts of the garden, particularly the ’empty’ beds. This and other last-minute tasks are all that is left to do (with getting the cakes out of the freezer first thing in the morning a priority); meanwhile, the garden is looking tidy and presentable after its recent wash and brush up and doing what comes naturally, bobbing about and looking pretty. Roll on tomorrow evening!

Jon The Propagator hosts this Six on Saturday meme, so please visit his blog to see his and others’ Sixes and to share your own.

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41 Responses to Six on Saturday: Ready for Visitors (including Dennis)

  1. bcparkison says:

    Hopeing the storm isn’t too bad.

    • Cathy says:

      I suppose it is all relative, Beverley – our immediate locality was not badly affected but there has been a lot of locallised flooding, although not affecting properties as in some parts of the UK

  2. Best of luck tomorrow!!

  3. Pauline says:

    I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow, hope it is better than today has been!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – the weather wasn’t as bad on the Sunday as it could have been. The wind had dropped and the rain was only heavy for a brief period early on.

  4. Good luck, wish I was there for your Aunties chocolate cake! And the Snowdrops and Hellebores.

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Oh my, best of luck tomorrow for weather that isn’t as bad as they might predict. Your round up of plants for sale look great. I know if people come out they will enjoy it.

    • Cathy says:

      The weather was always going to be unpredictable (but that would be the case in June too), but we had visitors who still came regardless and enjoyed it, so it was worth doing

  6. Heyjude says:

    I really hope you don’t experience the kind of weather we’ve seen here today!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jude – I suspect we didn’t! The wind dropped and although it was damp there was only a little heavy rain to begin with – and the sun came out just before closing time!

  7. Best wishes for your event. How wonderful to have so many things blooming this time of year!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Beth – and I really was surprised just how many different there were flowering, and found 2 more on the actually day as well!

  8. A Langley says:

    Fingers crossed for a busy early Open Day! It all looks wonderful!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes the garden was ready and fairly unaffected by the weather, and the people that did brave the elements enjoyed their visit, so it was worth doing

  9. Good luck today – all those lovely plants to see and to buy.
    The storm is pretty fierce here, hope it is kinder to you.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sandra – The wind had dropped for us, and it was just rain that we had to contend with, so it could have been much worse. I need to decide what to do with unsold plants, whether to plant them in the garden or keep them in pots for next year – most were bulbs so there will be snothing showing in June

  10. Cathy says:

    Hope the weather plays along. Have a fun day!

    • Cathy says:

      Not sure if fun is the word, Cathy, although it was enjoyable – but exhausting! UIt’s a;ways good to share gardening knowledge and ideas

  11. Chloris says:

    You are well organised, have a good day. Dennis is a bit unruly here today, I hope he calms down a bit for you.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, Dennis had a break yesterday as far as wind was concerned, but it was a bit damp – people just dressed accordingly (as sensible people do!)

  12. Anna says:

    Hope that all goes well today Cathy and that your garden is visited by lots of hardy perennials. I’m sure that they will be in for a treat.The plant sales area looks most inviting. Sorry that we couldn’t make it xxx

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it would have been silly for you to venture all the way here in the circumstances, Anna, and in fact our helpers did spend more time than usual thronging in a warm kitchen! But we had more visitors than we might have expected, given the weather conditions. Thanks for thinking of us though

  13. Noelle says:

    Visitors will leave with ideas, plants and having had a great tea.

  14. rusty duck says:

    Have a good day. Relax and enjoy it, whatever the weather!

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – thanks Jessica, but I don’t think relaxing comes into at all though! I was probably on my feet to-ing and fro-ing and chatting from the moment I got up until visitors and helpers had gone in late afternoon…then I was too exhausted to relax!! But yes, it’s an enjoyable although time-consuming experience

  15. Linda Casper says:

    Hope the event went well after all your hard work.

    • Cathy says:

      We would only have cancelled it if we were under snow, and all the preparations would have been done whatever the weather, but we had more visitors than we might have expected in the circumstances and they had refreshments and bought plants, as well as enjoying the garden, so it was all worth it

  16. tonytomeo says:

    How very English!

  17. I’m glad your open day wasn’t too badly affected by the weather. So much work goes into these, doesn’t it, but it’s so appreciated by us garden visitors.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you HB – and that was such a kind comment, recognising how much work goes into opening a garden, and letting me know that it is appreciated

  18. Creative work… Well arranged… Well organised… Well deserved..

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