Day two of our garden opening is always a more relaxed affair and I am thoroughly looking forward to it. On day one the rain absented itself, but the wind did not. At times yesterday it gusted so hard that I got lost in a blizzard of white begonia flowers cascading from the shelves of our outdoor kitchen. Along with the begonias, many plants did not enjoy the thrashing, but all will bounce back, some already producing fresh flowers this morning.
Garden lovers are hardy folk and it seems few were perturbed by the bracing conditions. We welcomed almost 100 visitors in our first four hours, many of whom were returning for the second or third time. It’s so enjoyable to stand in my little corner of the garden pointing out plants and chatting about the garden: everyone wants to talk, which suits me well. The stars of the show, and there are always a few, were the red-barked Santa Cruz Ironwood tree (Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius), a Californian evergreen accustomed to exposed conditions, and Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’, which has formed particularly tall, black rosettes this summer. In a forthcoming post I will list sources for some of our most popular plants for those who are interested to try them out.
In the meantime, if you were not able to get to us yesterday, please do come today. I will risk being accused of blowing my own trumpet, if only to raise more money for the National Garden Scheme, by quoting one very generous visitor from whom this is an particular compliment:
“Just home after a first visit to this exhilarating garden, for anyone who has the chance to go don’t miss it. Look up, down, beneath and behind you and you will see a plant, and a very good one, flourishing. You couldn’t add another in or take one away. This verdant freshness as summer fades away is glorious. you will leave feeling full of joy.”
That sort of reaction makes all the effort worthwhile.
The Watch House, 7 Thanet Road, Broadstairs, is open today, Sunday 21st August 2016, from 12-4 with fine teas served at 3, Polegate Cottage.