Minchinhampton Open Gardens 2017


What an amazing day it was. After weeks of snipping and pruning, weeding and feeding, not to mention advertising, planning, printing tickets and maps, and bullying innocent gardeners into opening their beautiful plots, finally on 2nd July the day really did dawn fine and sunny.

A total of thirteen gardens were open to the public in aid of Horsfall House and Holy Trinity Fabric Fund (aka 6Ps). The largest was the lovely well established three acres in Holcombe Glen, belonging to Terry Sharpe, and the smallest was one of the new houses in Vospers Croft belonging to Alison and Brian Whitaker, showing just how much use could be made of a small space in a very short time.

In total, we sold over 320 tickets and served mountains of cake and scones, and gallons of tea raising a total of £2,082.50 to be divided equally between the two charities. In addition, we were given a fine collection of ceramic pots and plants to be sold in aid of the 6Ps appeal which raised over £250.

The most amazing thing was the distance some of our visitors had travelled – Royal Wotton Basset, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon to name but a few. The power of the internet was undoubtedly a factor as the details were re-tweeted, posted on Facebook and added to Open Garden websites. We think most people visited between five and ten gardens, although a few managed all thirteen. It was a real pleasure to share our gardens with so many interested and interesting guests.

A big thank you to all who took part, sold tickets, baked cakes, served tea, washed up and distributed posters. The Rutherfords certainly served teas to at least 150 people and were run off their feet all afternoon – so thank you to them and their helpers, and also to Vi Read and Rachel Smith who worked so hard in our kitchen in Besbury Park. Well done Kathy, Angela, Jo and Sally for selling over £90 worth of raffle tickets for Horsfall House, at the same time as dealing with the stream of visitors arriving at John Hutchen’s garden. And thanks, of course, to all of you who bought tickets, walked round the gardens and were so complimentary.

It was a great effort and we look forward to doing it again – but not for a year or two!

Peter and Deborah Smith
9th July 2017