20 August 2012

Peter's Open Garden.

Peter Railton, the founder of Greenfingers Garden Club in Dagenham, opened his garden to visitors on Friday 17th August 2012. The day dawned rather dull, but became beautifully hot and clear in the afternoon. It was a great success, raising £620 to be shared between the Salvation Army and the gardening club. There were plants for sale and  refreshments, as well as the beautiful garden to enjoy.

The front garden path.
The front garden gave a clue as to what was to come, there were vibrant colours and different textures everywhere and the most had been made of all available space, even the fence.

Interesting use of drainpipes on the fence.
Peter had grown some plants for sale and also purchased others, they were arranged along the side entrance. Richard was seated at the end, collecting the entrance money.

Ann and Janette, with list of plants.

Richard ready to collect entrance fees.
The garden was splendid, below are some parts of it:

Pretty planting.

The fish pond.

Trumpet Vine.

Original use of a "Henry" vacuum cleaner.

A huge Magnolia Grandiflora.
The people from the National Garden Scheme, aka the "Yellow Book", were especially interested in the magnolia tree, as not many people grow them. Next year, Peter's garden will be included in that famous little book. This is the letter he received from them:

Letter confirming entrance to the NGS.
I spoke to Nigel Schultz, the CO at Barking Salvation Army, as half of the monies raised will go to them. He was really delighted with the garden, but as a Christian, says he does not covet it. 
The church needs to raise £6000 a month to keep going. They do a lot of youth work, and although the young people raise some money themselves, also paying a nominal subscription, it is not enough to provide everything needed. Therefore, all donations are extremely welcomed.  Judith, his wife, is a member of the gardening club. She visited the garden too. Here is a photo of them with Kathy & Peter:
Nigel, Judith, Kathy and Peter.
Kathy had been really busy baking her delicious cakes for the occasion, and they were much appreciated by everybody. There was a real hive of activity in the kitchen where the tea and coffee, cold drinks and cakes were being served.

Carrot cake, Madeira cake, coffee & walnut, Victoria sponge, coconut & lemon, banana  & walnut, fruit cake & lavender scones. Yum Yum!
There were shady, as well as sunny spots in the garden. Here are some visitors enjoying the shade:

Happy visitors.
There was also another sort of visitor to the garden, a winged variety:

A visiting butterfly enjoying a flower.
At 5pm people started taking their leave and Peter and helpers  relaxed in the cool of the house when they had all gone. Everybody eventually left, leaving Kathy & Peter to reflect on the day (after counting the takings).

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