Once every year some of the big-name colleges in Cambridge open their gardens to the public for the NGS. Usually they are only open to the college fellows and the rest of us plebs can gaze enviously through the gates and wish we could go in and explore. You read about these gardens and how beautiful they are so when we realised Kings and Clare Colleges were opening theirs last Sunday we decided we had to go along since the weather was absolutely glorious. As usual we had underestimated how long it would take us to get from the house into town, and by the time we arrived we only had time to visit one, so we went for Clare (sorry, I forgot the camera, so here's a link to someone else's photos).
And I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. Yes, the planting was beautiful, and everything was immaculately maintained but somehow it lacked the passion and sense of love you get from visiting people's real gardens. Later that afternoon we went to a friend's allotment - we are sharing some of the weeding and a chunk of the space - and watching the children making mudpies and squishing their feet in wet earth, watering, digging, planting tatty little seedlings and just pootling about, it made me realise that to me all gardening needs to be is fun, otherwise what's the point?