I’m delighted to say that Greenfields and Barn House gardens had a very successful afternoon on Sunday 26th June. Getting on for two hundred visitors dutifully consumed quantities of tea and cake before heading home with armfuls of gardening books and plants. All in all, the event raised the best part of a couple of thousand pounds on behalf of the NGS and local charities – Gwent Wildlife Trust and the Moravian Church, who provided refreshments, help with car parking and tickets.

NGS day weather forecast

First thing in the morning the forecast looked dismal, but, as it turned out the weather gods were on our side. It stayed fairly dry until the last hour when the heavens opened. As all good garden bloggers know, numbers are definitely higher on fine days which makes all the difference to the spirits of garden owners and your kind wishes were appreciated.

Grasses terrace after NGS day

Drying out after a wet ending to opening day 2016

It’s one thing to end up with a spick and span if soggily empty garden, but, quite another to have spent seemingly fruitless days on the logistics of posters, parking, signage and sorting out all the trappings of a mini garden fete. A successful day justifies all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, starting with the publicity provided by the NGS.

NGS guide 2016

The Yellow Book is the tip of the iceberg

Apparently, it takes something like 55 visitors for the well oiled machine that is the NGS to cover its costs. All of which explains why NGS gardens often open on more than one day and why NGS garden owners go the extra mile to make their visitors feel welcome on the day.

Since its foundation the NGS has raised £44 million for charities

Last year donations raised £2,637,000 for nursing and caring charities. Since its foundation the NGS has given more than £44 million to such charities

Although our Brockweir Common gardens don’t open for another ‘big day’ both gardens are open by appointment until the end of September. So far, we have a dozen smaller groups of 10-30 booked in throughout the summer and, as it’s all a lot of fun as well as for good causes, we’re very happy to see if we can accommodate people who happen to be passing. Contact details are on the gardens’ websites as well as on the NGS website.

Poppy enjoying the sunshine late June

Two days later we were basking in the evening sunshine

Opening the garden jointly with Greenfields has worked out really well for both garden owners and visitors alike. Even if we’d have preferred wall-to-wall sunshine everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, which is what it is all about. As new garden owners. Jackie and Fintan deserve a medal for their alternative wet weather arrangements, very few of us would decant a conservatory of furniture in order to set up a tea room!

Glastonbury mud 2016

Glastonbury mud 2016 : image from http://www.getintothis.co.uk

Having had a quick conflab to assess tickets and takings, there’s another to come about plans for next year. One thing is for sure, we shall remember to avoid the mud cursed Glastonbury Festival weekend like the plague.