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Countdown to opening - one week to go


By AndrewR


This is the second of three blogs about opening under the Yellow Book scheme. This is the last week of preparation before we open on the 18th May so we always hope for some good weather both now and on the day.

Day minus 6
Decided I need to trim the hedges – a yew hedge at the front and box hedging around one compartment within the garden. There are also three small box pyramids to reshape. The electric hedge trimmer decided to jam so most of it had to be done with hand shears.

Day minus 5
Spent hours and hours weeding. Not that there were many weeds in the first place but with damp soil and high temperatures, everything is growth apace and suddenly there were weed seedlings appearing in odd corners. Tied in all the climbers that were not clinging to their supports. Lots of bluebells to be dead-headed too (they seed too freely otherwise). Gill, who lives a mile away and who opens jointly on the same day, came over in the afternoon. We spent nearly two hours deciding which plants we have been growing in pots to sell on Sunday (the rest will be sold for the Garden Club at various other times). The ones for Sunday are top-dressed with grit, labelled and priced.

Day minus 4
I had agreed to accompany the County Organiser to a nearby Garden Club where we to give a talk on the Yellow Book scheme. She would talk about the scheme in general and I would talk about my experiences of opening. However, she had decided to go on holiday so her predecessor was roped in to do her part of the afternoon. We spent an hour addressing forty ladies (who lunch?) but who were all keen gardeners and interested – hope to see several of them on Sunday. Spent an hour tidying the grass strip outside that belongs to the Council (I must start charging them for cutting it!)

Day minus 3
Much cooler and damp today. Printed off pictures and short profiles of all the plants we are selling on Sunday. These are all filed in a folder and left by the Plant Sale table so people can see what they are buying. I tried this idea last year and it proved very popular so it has become an annual task now.

Day minus 2
The main task today was to get the grass cut and edged. It is currently growing fast and needs a trim every five days. So although it was due for Wednesday, this would leave it looking a bit shaggy for Sunday so I planned to do it today. Well it rained heavily overnight and the day was cool and dull with no wind. I waited till 5pm, then went out and cut it anyway.
Found a few shoots flapping on the rose arch and tied them in. Also removed suckers from a rubus and dwarf sorbus that were coming up among other plants.

Day minus 1
No time for last minute nerves.
It’s Cup Final day and our county Red Cross branch always hold a big plant sale at Wokingham. I’m in charge of setting up and selling on the day. This year I agreed to work until lunchtime only.
Later topped up the pond (the water level had dropped a couple of inches in the recent warm weather) and scooped off the worst of the duckweed. Swept the patio and paths, then moved the plants not yet ready for sale back into the greenhouse.

Tomorrow I will do a final quick deadheading first thing then put up road signs and set up the plant sales stall. Time for lunch and then wait for the punters to arrive.

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phew andrew im worn out just reading all the work you have been doing, looking forward to reading about how your open day goes

17 May, 2008


Good luck Andrew lots of hard work Im sure will be rewarded with lots of oohs and aahs.Have I missed your Khazakstan photos? Your electric hedge trimmer jammed for a reason as its sawing action can lead to scorch burns esp on box nearly always clipped by hand no matter how big.Seen those large elizabethan knot gardens? All done by sheep shear topiary clippers(by people with little else to do I know) to prevent this scorch to leaves.Use to work on a large estate and head gardener insisted I cut yew with shears I thought he was a sadistic so and so - he told me it was due to this.Good luck to Exeter they been the better side remember Scarborough now in a local league with an empty ground . Few years ago Chelsea at home in FA cup seems like years ago .

17 May, 2008


Good luck! Hope the weather improves for you.

17 May, 2008


i know just how you feel!!!
tomorrow you can bask in the glory and enjoy all the comments from your visitors.
good luck

17 May, 2008

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