Saturday, December 03, 2016

November 2016 Open Garden

Well our 2016 ‘Open garden’ is over and we are now thinking about 2017s opening.
Yes we are going to open again health permitting as we enjoy the opening and the fact that we raise money for the ‘Lions Club’.
The last four openings have raised a total of $16,323 all of which went to aid disabled children, the beauty about the ‘Lions Club’ is that all money raised goes to worthwhile causes, none goes into administrative costs.
I think that was why the old ‘Open garden Scheme’ failed as so much (65% of gate takings) was going to administering the scheme and even that was not enough in the end and it folded.
I am starting to think of new projects I can do in the garden and Judy has already started to take summer cuttings ready to grow on.
The real work starts in August when I get the flyers printed then sent out to over 70 garden clubs and organisations then it’s setting up the tables, shelters, stocking with plants and a few months to get the garden ready.
Do not let anyone tell you that opening is easy; it’s not, in fact its dammed hard work.
You never know what the weather will be like or how many visitors will show up, so much depends on publicity and of course the weather.
Some well-known garden people refuse to even acknowledge we exist and even when asked will not support our opening while others are happy to help.
Graham Ross from radio 4BC was fantastic and so was Spencer Howson from ABC radio 612 great also Kate Heffernan from Gold Coast ABC radio.
We usually get a good burst in our local paper ‘Redland City Bulletin’ and that brings a lot of people to the garden, as for the bigger papers, well that’s a zero but I still send a letter with information and a CD with some really good garden photos.
There’s a portable toilet to organise, roadside signs, tables, chairs ect, even going around the garden making sure all the spider webs are down.
Saturday morning and it’s all hands on deck ready for the plant buyer rush and yes they arrived and scored some great Bromeliads and garden plants including some very rare hard to get plants.

The Lions Club had the sausage sizzle going and sandwiches for those that were worn out buying plants.
Black Sapote fruit was for sale and the proceeds from that went to our Grandchildren.

Everyone loved the garden, a lot remarked on how much work had been done since they last visited.

To think back to our first opening in 2002, what a difference, the garden would be unrecognisable as so much work has gone into it every year.
After it was all over and 700 plus people had visited it was time to clean up which is a three day job working very hard, then we need a really good rest to recover as we are to say the least a tad worn out.
On the Saturday after the opening we had a great downpour of 74 mills of beautiful rain, what a difference that has made.
This year we went for a short break to Mooloolaba and actually had a chance to read the new Michael Connelly and Lee Child books, we are both big fans of Harry Bosch and Jack Reacher.
We came back home with a car load of new plants as we do.
So, that’s it for another year, if you came we hope you enjoyed the garden and hope you will come again.
Judy and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy gardening New Year.

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