Photo Copyright: Maggie May
Have you ever wondered what is behind the rows of terraced houses that you might pass regularly? Have you ever wished that you could see into the back gardens? If only that was possible.
Well, this weekend, I had the opportunity to do just that.
I noticed there were posters on local lamp posts and fences advertising that for a fee of £3 it would be possible to visit a whole group of local back gardens. At the time I wasn't sure if that meant that I could view them all for £3 or that I'd have to pay the fee for each garden that I visited. However, my friend Audrey said that it might be worthwhile to view a couple of gardens and see how we got on, so we arranged to meet in a house very near to my home. In fact all the gardens were within walking distance We presented our entrance fee and were told we could now view all the gardens if we produced the ticket each time we moved on to another house.
For a start, after months of rain, the weather was suddenly sunny and dry. That in itself was a miracle and made viewing so much pleasanter for everyone involved. Some of the gardens could only be reached by going through the house, so imagine having all these visitors trampling wet through your home. The owners must have been very pleased that this was not going to happen.
I haven't enjoyed myself so much for a long time. Each garden was very different from any other. Some were extremely tiny like my own, while others were very long and had divided the space into many little sections, some with lawn and borders and some with patios and gravel. There were vegetable patches and wild patches with ponds. Some gardens had hens in runs and another had beehives everywhere. Each had a different look and character. Some were inviting us to sit in comfortable garden chairs and have tea and cakes while others only had standing room in their tiny patches of land, but there was always someone there to give advice and the owners seemed to be very grateful for positive feedback.
I was able to get some advice as to why I was struggling to grow white flowered Jasmine on my fence. The lady who was able to grow it well in her garden, suggested that I put rabbit or hen droppings over the roots to give it a good start. Well that would be easy enough to try in our home. I couldn't wait to get out there with my rabbit droppings and trowel.
I was able to visit about half a dozen homes but unfortunately, time ran out so I missed two of them. I can't wait to go to the next batch of gardens but I doubt very much that they will be in my area. It was, apparently organised by the Bristol Botanical Garden Trust and thats were all the profits went to.
I wonder if other readers have ever had the chance to look at secret gardens in your area?