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Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts Newsletter 11

With Spring well underway, gardens are starting to bloom, and the lovely folk at Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts are entering their busiest month to date.

Read all about their progress and how you can help in their Newsletter 11 below and don’t forget to pop across to their website for more information www.opengardens.eu

A bientôt
Katherine x


Newsletter No 11

Hello again and welcome to our latest newsletter. Things are warming up in more ways than one. The weather has certainly been kind round here – no noticeable frost to spoil the magnolia trees and the potential cherry crop. But it’s not just the weather that created a bit of heat; Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts has had another spectacular month.
The big story of recent weeks is the increase of coordinators. In mid-April last year, we recruited our first coordinator, recognising that the members of the conseil could not personally visit every garden as they had in the past. Coordinators live locally and are in the best position to know of potential gardens, have local contacts and know of local media outlets. With this in mind, we set about recruiting others and just 12 months later, we have 23 coordinators from the Charente (16) in the west to the Savoie (73) in the east, the Gers (32) and the Ariège (09) in the south and the Ile-de-France in the north. This has undoubtedly been a success story and we are confident that volunteers for new departments will be forthcoming.
…..and so to the month of May
May is a really busy month for Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts. We were at the Fête des Plantes at Magnac Laval in April and we will be at the Arboretum de la Sedelle on Sat/Sun 9th/10th May and Les Printanières in Saint Leger Bridereix on Sunday 10th May.
However, the main event for visitors is undoubtedly the gardens and there are lots and lots of gardens open in May: a single garden in the Vaucluse (84), the Ariège (09) and the Lot-et-Garonne (47) and many gardens in the Creuse (23), the Haute-Vienne (87), the Dordogne (24), the Charente (16) and the Indre (36). All the details are, of course, on the website, together with directions, opening times and photos of what you may expect to see. May 10th is one of the focus days and you would do well to get round even a quarter of them.
Some of the gardens will have refreshments and plants on sale but all of them will provide a warm welcome. This year looks as though it will be a “vintage” as far as plants, shrubs and trees are concerned. They have obviously enjoyed the mild winter, the wet spring and a good period of warming sun and the blossom on the fruit trees has been magnificent. The Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Pieris are coming into flower and should be at their peak just around May 10th.
As mentioned in the last newsletter, we will be at Courson at Chantilly on Friday, Saturday & Sunday 15-17th May and if you have any special photos of your garden, we would love to have a copy for our display. They would need to be a fairly high resolution so that they print well. Please, send any that you are particularly proud of to mick@opengardens.eu
May I wish all of our hard-working gardeners “Bon courage”. As we say so often, please don’t worry about a few weeds in the flower garden or that the tramlines that you so carefully made with the lawnmower aren’t precisely true. The open days are an occasion for everyone to enjoy and that includes you. Your visitors will greatly appreciate your garden and the efforts you have made to make it look inviting.
And for you, the visitor: have a lovely day and enjoy the warming sun (hopefully!!) as you tuck into a piece of cake and sip tea. You will meet new friends, pick up gardening tips, admire the beauty of Nature at its best and benefit a wonderful charity – there can’t be many nicer ways to pass a day, can there?

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Le Jardin Perdu 2015. All images and posts are the property of Katherine Forshaw

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