I missed the June ‘My Garden right now’. I think I was busy preparing for opening our garden for the NGS open garden scheme. It took us about three months of intensive effort to get the garden to an acceptable standard and even then it was far from perfect. I was so glad we described our plot accurately in the Yellow book, those who came weren’t upset by the informal look of the place and increasing levels of weed tolerance as they moved away from the nearest thing we have to a formal area into the domain of wildlife.

We have a few weeks to decide if we will put ourselves through it all again for 2018

Yesterday I took a walk through our garden with a camera and my ‘visitors’ eyes on to try and help make the decision to open or not. It was a good process, reminding me along the way of the things that were liked and those that were unappreciated, I don’t say disliked because our visitors were to polite to express dissatisfaction with anything.

Here are some shots to illustrate features that appealed to NGS visitors:

The visitors liked that we leave a lot of room for wildlife; animals and plants. Our enormous black Adder was a great success, let’s hope she is around next year and puts on a good show.

My garden shack, was much appreciated and dubbed the ‘Hobbit house’ more on account of it’s size than any resemblance to the LOTR Hobbit accommodation.

Plant specialisms went down well, Salvias in particular, they seem to be on trend and popular. Unusual flowers and vegetable varieties also got attention, the Yakon and perennial Kales were especially noticed, mostly by the men.

Our methods of growing vegetable crops interested those folks who came on my guided walk. Most folks seem to have problems growing Carrots and our guaranteed way to success appealed widely.

Our various structures made from Hazel, Chestnut and re-purposed corrugated iron stood out as being different from the features found at most NGS gardens. Ours cost a few ££ rather than thousands of ££. For those with modest means and compact plots to see what can be done on the cheap with ‘green’ materials struck a chord and lots of favourable comments.

The fact that the things we get a buzz out of also clicked with our visitors makes me keen to do it all again. We can add a few new features, get a green woodworker along to do some demos and structure the guided walks better that way perhaps go over the £2,000 raised for charities in 2018.