On the weekend of 26th/27th June 2021 the very first Walpole Open Gardens event was held to raise money for the fund. Eleven gardens of all shapes and sizes were opened in the Walpole Villages (Walpole St Peter and Walpole St Andrew) in support of the RFLF. The wonderful volunteers not only prepared their gardens for the event, but many of them had stalls selling plants, books, cold drinks, ice creams, preserves and refreshments. There was also a Tombola.
Because of COVID, we decided not to advertise too widely, but we posted notices around the villages and at the last minute used an excellent Open Gardens website (http://www.opengardens.co.uk). The gardens were very varied, one devoted to wildlife, another specialising in roses, a very new garden, a low maintenance one, two with wonderful ponds another with decorated posts and nearly all had areas left natural for wildlife. To add to our satisfaction the weather was perfect, not too hot, but sunny and warm.
It was a bit nerve wracking waiting for the first visitors, but right on time they arrived and the occasion was most enjoyable. Those who opened their gardens and those who visited had a love of gardens in common, which made for some splendid conversations and some good humoured banter. The debriefing session the following Monday morning was very positive and helpful with all gardeners wanting to repeat the event next year, thank you to all! We have discussed a few changes and have already had more people wanting to open their gardens next year which is amazing.
The magnificent total of £1,000 was raised over the weekend from donations made which was important, but even more important was the fact that we all enjoyed the event and that our gardens got even more TLC than usual.
If you took any photographs of the event and are prepared to share them with others we would love to display them on this website. Please would you contact Wendy Foot to make arrangements to get your photos to us.