Archive for March, 2021

Opening for the National Garden Scheme

March 10, 2021
Tea and cake are an NGS institution

We’re opening our garden in aid of the National Garden Scheme again this year. All being well, we’ll be open for visitors on the weekend of 3rd and 4th July.

This will be our 4th year of welcoming visitors to Wharf House and it is something we greatly enjoy doing. As many readers of this blog will know, the NGS raises money for a variety of nursing, end-of-life and gardening charities. The premise of the scheme is very simple: private gardens open for the public, at a modest charge and the money raised goes to support fantastic charities. The range of gardens which open for the NGS is vast, from city courtyards to rambling country acres. The vast majority of gardens are the creation of keen amateurs, like us. Perhaps this is the reason why we have always found NGS visits the best way of provoking new ideas for our own garden?

For obvious reasons, last year was a tough one for the NGS. Many gardens were not able to open at all. Others had to open with a much reduced capacity. We had roughly the same number of visitors as in 2019 but because we weren’t able to sell refreshments, our taking were down by about 50%. This means that terrific charities like Marie Curie, Hospice U.K. and Macmillan Cancer Support, received less money than had been planned.

This year, we hope to have our best year yet. We know that many people are desperate to get out and about again and with the fantastic success of the vaccine roll-out programme, we hope that, by July, a stroll around a garden, followed by a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake, will be just the thing!

Making Raised Beds

March 5, 2021
Practical But Not Pretty!

It’s fair to say that neither of us came to gardening with the construction skills that are so often necessary. Over the years, particularly since we started to make the garden at Wharf House, we’ve nevertheless had to turn our hand to all sorts of building jobs. Every Spring we have to repair the weir on the stream, which raises the water level around our little island. We’ve made a lot of raised beds, mainly in the veg garden but also in the working area (photographed above). We rely on help from family and friends with more demanding projects: pergolas, gates and the covered dining area which we love. Like anything though, with experience and practice, one does get better. You may not agree when you look at the two latest raised beds pictured above but we’re pretty pleased with them! Not least since they’re on a hefty double slope, dropping well over a metre from one end to the other.

This is the time of year when we try to get jobs like this done. The days are longer, the weather is a bit milder and the garden is only slowly waking-up from its Winter sleep. This weekend we aim to fill the new raised beds with top soil. We’re taking the soil out of the raised beds in our polytunnel, which are too deep and are showing their age. Before Easter we also hope to build a set of steps up a particularly steep bank; to put in a substantial post for a vigorous rose to grow-up and last but not least, to fix that damn weir once again.


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