Wednesday, September 13, 2006

An Open Garden

Thank goodness I did not have the problems with a tooth abscess like I had last year which was the worst pain I have ever experienced and never want to go through that again.
Having been through three previous Open Gardens we were expecting the bargain Plant buyers first and true to form they started to arrive at 9:00am.
Judy had prepared several hundred or so beautiful Bromeliads all in flower and these were snapped up very quickly, one purchaser remarked that she had previously bought a Bromeliad for $60 that Judy had for sale for $25.
Needless to say lots of people went away very satisfied owners of new plants.
After the initial rush of plant buyers people then started to explore our Garden, our philosophy is that on this open weekend our Garden belongs to our visitors who are free to spend as much time as they like in the Garden and hopefully go away with a good feeling and perhaps some ideas for their own Garden.
When you think about it, a Garden is much like a work of art, it is designed and created with just as much passion and creativity, it is then shown to the Public through Art Galleries, Open Garden Scheme ect for people to enjoy. Perhaps the only difference is that a Painting/sculpture once completed is finished but a Garden is never finished.

It had rained a couple of weeks prior to our opening so the place was looking green and lush, after another year of drought conditions the rain was most welcome as we had started to despair. Nature is truly amazing; the difference the rain made was incredible. We actually had a green Garden for people to walk through.
We asked the inventor of the ‘Waterfork’ (Norm Robinson) to demonstrate and he was very pleased with the results for the weekend. We had asked him to provide one of his ‘Waterforks’ as a ‘Lions Club’ Raffle prize as his payment to be in our Garden Opening.
We have always asked the ‘Lions Club’ to cater for our ‘Open Garden’ openings and again they did this very well, they also ran a Raffle which had some nice prizes including a nice ‘Bromeliad’ donated by Judy, a ‘waterfork’ , a magnum of wine donated by the ‘Sands Hotel’ and ten bundles of ‘Sugar Cane ‘mulch donated by the grower.
On Sunday we have a different type of visitor, these are the ‘lookers’ some of whom spent up to four hours in our Garden, most were enthusiasts and had a million questions or photographed everything of interest.
The ‘Lions Club’ made almost $1800 dollars for charity, they were very happy with this result and so were we as our back Patio area had been converted to an outside rest area where visitors could sit down and participate in some nice home cooked food, a refreshments then continue the tour of the Garden.
We try to make our Garden opening an interesting experience with plant sales, food and drinks, expert advice on Tropical Fruit growing and care, demonstrations of Composting techniques, demonstrations of Garden Equipment and last but not least the fact that Judy and I took the time to meet and greet as many visitors as we were able to, we also had lots of little native animals hidden in logs and trees around the Garden which were a hit with the Children.
We will open again as we find the open weekend to be a fantastic experience and a real pleasure to meet so many like minded people who are interested in Gardening.
The main comments in the visitor’s book was that how relaxing and tranquil our garden was, not one bad comment from nearly 800 visitors.
After two hectic days and hundreds of visitors later it’s time to head up to the Sunshine Coast for a well-deserved break.
A week after the opening and I am already thinking about new ideas and plans for next year. Can I be cured?

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