The wonderful return to summer meant I spent a lot of Sunday out in the garden. We had planned to visit some local gardens open under the NGS scheme that afternoon, and knowing how fed up I get when I return from those beautifully arranged domestic oases into our sand strewn, pebble ridden back garden I decided to put in the effort and tidy it up a bit. And actually, it responded really well. I have rows of pots of bulbs and trays of seeds growing up, some for the allotment (yes! I have part of an allotment this year!), some for the plant stall at the school fayre and some for planting around the school pool assuming they come up, but instead of being scattered all over the patio they are lined up neatly out of the way in my own private nursery. I put pots of basil and scented stocks outside the back door and we have wafts of scent coming in every time someone goes in or out. Honestly, anyone would think I'd been watching Gardeners World or something!
Anyway, that was a long waffle leading me to what I actually wanted to write about - two very different gardens but both lovely in their own way. The first was a bit wacky - not the planting, which was cottagey in places, meadowy in others and certainly to be envied. But the thing that made it really stand out was the abundance of little sculpted monsters scattered around. Normally this would not appeal to me at all - I am not a big fan of eccentric gardening - but these were done wittily:
The girls had a long debate over whether or not the troll was real, but I think the lack of movement gave it away.
You can't see it from this but this chap was in fact eating a climbing rose. He wouldn't get away with that in my garden.
Who needs a lion's head when you can have a dragon?
The second garden was very different; more traditional and formal with huge lawns and a rose garden . The composting area was bigger than our entire garden! There were avenues for our little flowers to run along and lots of older visitors to coo over them as they did so. It's always gratifying to have people say nice things about your children, even if you have just been hissing at them to stop shouting and be careful they don't knock people over. There are frequently other families with young children at these open garden afternoons but I don't think we are really part of their main demographic.
The house was just stunning - apparently it's an old rectory and frankly who wouldn't have wanted to be the vicar if you got to live in a house like this:
And look after a church like this: