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Gardens: A Weekend of Open Gardens in Parwich (including Orchard Farm)

...and again, Tom's Barn gardenThere’s a real horticultural feel to this coming weekend; let’s hope the weather is kind so that all the visitors can enjoy in comfort all the treats that lie ahead.

The first treat is a one-off  event, when Mike and Gill Radcliffe of Flaxdale House are opening their garden all day to raise money for the DRCS, a charity very close to my heart (I managed it for ten years and am now a trustee and a member of the very active Friends of DRCS Fundraising committee but this event is organised entirely by Mike and Gill ). All the proceeds are to go to the charity; Gill and several local artists will be exhibiting some of their paintings, and they are giving 25% of the total price of any sold to the DRCS (so with my DRCS hat on I hope plenty get sold!!).

There’s a host of exciting gardens waiting to be enjoyed this Sunday in Parwich (including Flaxdale again – Mike and Gill will be on their knees come Sunday evening) many of them are particularly impressive and most of them normally hidden from public view. The village has many interesting gardens and many highly knowledgeable and keen gardeners. Then there are some (or maybe it’s just us) who just love Another View from Douglas's Barn terracegardens and flowers and the scent and colour… but lack much horticultural know how. However, we are lucky enough to enjoy the much appreciated services of Sue whom many of you have met or at least seen at Orchard Farm on a Thursday morning, busily putting everything to rights, and tactfully instructing us about what we should be doing.

John will cut the grass and make sure things look as tidy as possible but that is as far as it goes – we take a perverse pride in not doing anything extra or special, mainly because it would take months and more time and expertise than we have but also it takes some of the pressure off what would otherwie be an impossible situation. Those who knew Orchard Farm of old will testify that the ‘garden’ did not exist, apart from a plum tree near the house, a honeysuckle by the front door and the lovely yellow ‘Parwich rose’ which flowers for two weeks in June.

Another garden viewThe wider garden was, literally, a dump. Tom the previous owner had allowed farmers and builders to deposit their rubbish there so it was a perilously sloping tangled mound of everything from breeze blocks, broken bits of asbestos, old bicycle frames and tractor and various animal skeletons. It took someone with a digger and big truck three whole days to clear, before we had to start on the docks, nettles and brambles. John has some very telling before and after pictures, not that the after photos show any great development year on year!

Meanwhile, lots of photos taken yesterday morning and the day before are viewable in the Photo gallery ‘Orchard Farm Garden: Flowers’

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