Well....here we go again! I can't believe it's three years since the last, but I guess it took this long to get over that one! Many of you have asked, niggled, prompted and requested so...in the guise once again of an intimate SPRING GARDEN FAIR, this time our open weekend on 23 & 24 NOVEMBER will celebrate our 30 YEARS at GLENMORE!
Yes, I know some of you will recall we celebrated 25 years six years ago...you can put that down to a recurring discussion between Larry and me! I like to date our tenure from the moment we first set foot at Glenmore....May 1988. Whereas Larry, probably being more correct, always says it wasn't ours 'til 1989....when at last the solicitors found the relevant documents to sign and seal; although the Moore family had already delivered the keys (lucky for us, they seemed to have faith in our intentions!).
By November 1989, we'd more or less completed stage one, in that we'd taken down the eyesores, cleared the mess around the old dairy, barn, stables, hayshed; and stayed overnight for the very first time: we had electricity and running water in the house (and that's about all!). But there was no garden: no fences or drystone walls, no paths or hedges. The stone house floated in scarred, uneven ground. Oh but we were excited!
That summer was hot, but also saw glorious rain. It settled the few roses, hydrangeas, iris and pelargoniums we'd rescued and re-positoned in the clearing process. We planted trees. We made plans. The idea that one day we might have a garden to 'open' never crossed our minds...we were up to our eyeballs in dirt!
Fast forward to today and the now well-established garden continues to grow, as well as to alter, with each passing season. Over the years, we've endured droughts and flooding rain, with a handful of benign years thrown in for good measure. Each weather event brings both good and bad where plants are concerned and like all gardeners, we must roll with whatever is thrown at us, which is why the garden continues to evolve.
It's still just our garden though. I'm always deliberating on what I might plant to fill another gap; irritated at the demise of yet another favourite. But I get as excited today as I did in the beginning, with each seasonal awakening of flowers, foliage or fleeting scent to swamp the senses and each fruit, vegetable or herb that lands on our plates. I'm still filled with anticipation at what daily surprise lies around the corner or down a garden path. I'm still just playing.
This is the latest time in the year we've ever opened the garden. Previously, we've opened in the autumn to coincide with leaf colour - and when the borders are sprinkled with claret dahlias frolicking against plumes of grass. Or at the height of frothy, pink, spring madness. But this time, all being well, tall poppies will hold their ageing pods on high as emerging pale yellows and mauves draw us toward summer; while pepper trees hum with bees and the Himalayan musk rose R.brunonii spills all over the paddock fence. And then there's the fennel...its relevance in the great scheme of things is something I'll explain down the track (podcast listeners will already understand!).
Some garden openings ago; I thought it would be fun to invite a handful of stallholders to participate. Like the garden, this idea has evolved too, and this time is going to be the most exciting yet: with fresh flowers, romantic plants, veg and edible flower boxes, veg seedlings, bees, cheese, ceramics, botanical candles, landscape paintings, twig furniture; as well as tea, cake, botanical drinks and of course, a seasonal, garden-inspired lunch in the hayshed.
I'll drop you a line from time to time as the weekend draws near, to let you know more about the stallholders, as well as practical details for the event. In the meantime though, you can discover information on the web page here.
I do hope you'll be tempted to pop the date in your diary and make a plan to join us. It's going to be fun!
Very best wishes