We held our very first open day – well, open afternoon, really – on the first Bank Holiday in May. We’d no idea whether it would work or not, but we hoped it might. There were going to be plants for sale, a produce table, a raffle, as well as teas, coffees and cakes available.
Some members had potted up plants as long ago as last summer, when the possibility was first discussed by the committee.
Some had obtained or made fantastic raffle prizes (there were, for instance, three bottles of whisky and a hand-made patchwork quilt). Other members had baked for the occasion, or had been making jams, marmalades and chutneys.
And we were all relieved when Monday 6 May dawned and it wasn’t raining, drizzling, snowing or doing anything else difficult. It was windy, but we’re gardeners, plus we’re on the coast: we can cope with a healthy breeze. Gale.
There was one indication that all might be well – several people stopped as the gazebo was being put up and plants were being unpacked. They came, they saw, they bought.
Within about half an hour of the official opening time of 1 pm, the car park of the church hall was packed with people buying plants. There were all sorts available – from Italian tomato plants, in two sizes, to more obscure things which had to be looked up on t’internet; from shrubs, including a variety of different rhododendrons, to big bags of nerines for £2; there were herbs, leeks, runner and broad beans; pelargoniums; perennials and bedding plants of a quality you wouldn’t find easily in a garden centre…
By 2.15 so much had gone that one helper thought it must be nearly 4, and closing time!
And let’s not forget the teas, coffees, and … yes, the cakes:
How could you? But you did have to be quick, mind. It was lovely to see the hall so packed – at one stage people were sitting on the windowsills – and so full of people chatting and enjoying themselves. Many came from the village (hi!), many were visitors (hi!), and everyone was so appreciative.
Huge, huge thanks to everyone who helped: to the green-fingered gardeners, both those who helped and those who donated plants; the clever cooks and preserving paragons; people who supported the raffle; the hard-working helpers who served teas or controlled parking and, above all, to absolutely everyone who came along, bought things, and made it such a success. Thank you very much, diolch yn fawr iawn.
(Above? One of the ‘severely-depleted-by-2pm’ plants sales areas.)
Keep everything crossed for another next year!