The Thorpe Salvin Garden Trail 2015 was an enormous success this year. It is true that, in contrast to 2014, we were blessed with weather that encouraged visitors on both Saturday and Sunday, but that alone would not have explained the enjoyment of which everyone spoke. For that we have a long list of thank yous.
This was my first year as ‘Chairman’, a gloriously overblown position which largely consisted of me inviting the later meetings to take place in my back-garden. Last year, I was chief assistant to Lesley Hayes who had so magnificently run the show for previous Garden Trails. I made the wise decision to do everything that Lesley advised and her detailed planning instructions from times before were so very helpful. I owe Lesley a great debt of gratitude: thank you for making the Garden Trail the organisational success it is. In addition, Lesley and Colin agreed to host Afternoon Tea at their house and in that beautiful setting it did a roaring trade for the benefit of the church.
Kelsey and Mark Pearson very kindly agreed to host the Castle Cafe in their garden: what a gorgeous setting with the Manor ruins as a back-drop. This too was a great success, not least in part due to the outstanding waitressing work of their daughters.
Jo and Patience ran a successful cake stall and bric-a-brac stand in the church which was also very busy. In the days to come we will discuss how these three enterprises worked together and we will make decisions about refinements for the future.
Bridget Dixon did her usual magnificent job of checking who in the village wanted to open their gardens, getting the information together for the map of the tour and organising the complex rota of people to marshal the car-park. In addition, thanks must go to the small army of helpers who printed maps, put up pagodas, sorted out numbers around the village, to tidied the verges, mowed lawns…. the list goes on. Thank you all so much for giving your time freely and with good humour.
In total 16 gardens were open to the public, and what a treat they all were. I was lucky enough to visit all the gardens late on Sunday afternoon. What a range of styles and ideas were on display; little wonder so many of the visitors return year after year. It would be lovely to encourage people to open their gardens for the first time. The gardens do not have to be ‘perfect’, indeed I’m sure there is something to be said for allowing visitors to see the advantages of some more naturalistic approaches to garden design and maintenance. Moreover, everyone can get as involved as they want with the visitors: some gardens had no-one from the household out to supervise, simply letting their garden do the talking. Others enjoyed the opportunity to discuss their gardens with those coming round – I know I learn a lot from the discussions I had.
If you have any questions about this the Thorpe Salvin Garden Trail 2015 and maybe have thoughts about getting involved for next year, then please phone me (01909 770131) or pop round to 31 Worksop Road. We hope to start the formal planning for next year’s event in May 2016: keep a look out for information in Thorpe Matters.
Chairman, Thorpe in Bloom