Open Gardens 2014

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Open Gardens 2014

Post by tocyvi on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:29 pm

Do you glow with pride when you look at the garden you have created from a field?  Do you have interesting features in your garden that you would be happy to show others?  If so, how would you like to open your garden to the public?

On Sunday 30 June this year, four members of the English Library and Information Centre Gardening Group at La Souterraine in the Creuse, opened their gardens for the day based on the UK’s Yellow Book Scheme.  They had no idea how many people, if any, would visit the gardens but were amazed at the response they received from members of the public.  Over 50 people visited the four gardens, one near Vareilles, one close to Azerables and two at Bussiere Dunoise.  The money raised was donated to ‘A Chacun son Everest’, a charity which helps children with leukaemia or cancer.

For 2014, we plan to be more ambitious and, if possible, open twelve gardens to the public over the last weekend in June (28 and 29).  Any garden submitted will be judged on a set of criteria in order to be sure that there is enough in the garden to interest visitors.  Gardens close by can ‘team up’ to make up this interest but owners need to be able to devote the whole weekend to showing visitors around, provide toilet facilities,  cordon off hazardous or dangerous areas and write a resume of their garden to provide to visitors.  It is important to note that gardens can be ‘work in progress’, as most of them are and the charity will remain the same as this year.

The owners who took part in 2013 thoroughly enjoyed the day and we feel sure that other potential garden owners would get as much satisfaction and enjoyment from the event as we did.

If you would like your garden to be considered for 2014, or if you would like further information, please visit our website www.opengardens.eu or www.jardinsouvert.eu or contact Mick Moat at michael.moat@wanadoo.fr.
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Re: Open Gardens 2014

Post by BLAKEVINE on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:02 pm

I think this is a great idea. One summer I spent quite a few weekends trundling around other people's gardens in the National Garden Scheme. It was something I was keen to do had we stayed in the UK but now we are in France, then why not do it here? However, as far as I am aware, there are no other members of the forum who live close by to us so we would be "going it alone" and unable to team up. In fact, I think with a couple of exceptions, there aren't many of us in my part of the Correze so I do wonder if we would be able to attract (enough) visitors? That said, I had thought of doing something similar and was going to ask as the Mairie to see about dates and who we could raise a bit of cash for.

We have a couple of eccentric friends in the UK who have opened their garden for a few years now, but, this year's event might have persuaded them to stop; I just have to share this with you. Picture the scene - their garden had been prepared for the big weekend and they got up on the Saturday morning to find that foxy loxy had been in overnight and slaughtered their remaining chickens. Whilst clearing up this mess and trying to put up bunting, signs etc, a couple of their friends arrived unexpectedly with their respective parents who were keen to see the garden. Trying to hide the blood and feathers (from the chickens) my friends gave them drinks and roped them into helping set up. When the garden opened everything went swimmingly well (as it is a popular garden) until one old dear decided to go "tits up" on the patio steps. She looked a bit pale and then started to turn blue so an ambulance was called. She seemed OK but my friends thought best to close the garden early as it was a bit of a sight with visitors trying to step over this old dear whilst in the recovery position. As the ambulance pulled away my friend's husband could be heard shouting "and I hope you don't think you're going to sue us".....he's all heart.

So, I still think Open Gardens is a great idea and will have a think about it and how it might work "au bout du monde". thanks. K.
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Re: Open Gardens 2014

Post by tocyvi on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:18 pm

Hi Blakevine
Many thanks for your post and your supportive comments. Do you want to send me a pm with your telephone number and then we can discuss the possibilities? It is our intention to get bigger and better each year, so it would be an opportunity to develop the scheme into the Correze.

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Re: Open Gardens 2014

Post by tocyvi on Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:41 pm

Open Gardens 2014 already looks to have exceeded its target of 12 gardens. We have had a great response from owners from an increasingly large area who wish to become involved and this means that we are hoping for a sizeable increase in the amount of money raised for the children's cancer charity "A Chacun Son Everest".

There is still plenty of time to get involved. If you think that your garden may have something to offer, please get in touch and discuss it with us. Further information is available on the websites above or via e-mail to michael.moat@wanadoo.fr

This is an enjoyable way to share the delights of your labours with other people, whilst, at the same time, raising money for a worthwhile cause.
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Re: Open Gardens 2014

Post by tocyvi on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:01 am

Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts now has 18 gardens signed up for 2014 with additional promises for 2015. The concept is gathering strength and momentum and has now formed an Association.

We have gardens in the Creuse, the Haute Vienne & the Vienne but are always keen to hear from garden owners who are keen to be involved from any area, both in and outside of the Limousin.

This year, the open days are on the weekend of June 28/29 and for a single payment of 5€, visitors have the opportunity to look round as many of the gardens as they wish. There is much more information on www.opengardens.eu and this website is constantly being updated.

In 2015, there will be additional opportunities. Rather than opening simply on one weekend a year, owners will be asked when their gardens are at their best and so may be open for a number of different days throughout the growing season. By so doing, visitors will have the benefit of seeing, for example, springtime wild flowers, camellias, rhodos etc, all of which flower outside of the June weekend.

Some prospective owners have been concerned that their garden may not be good enough and have been reticent to offer their facilities. Members of the Association are more than happy to visit at your convenience to help you decide if you wish to be involved.

Above all, the scheme aims to help children who have cancer, whilst at the same time, giving others the opportunity to see some delightful gardens and meet new people. Hence our motto: "Gardening and giving in partnership".

If you are interested in becoming involved in any way, please contact mick@opengardens.eu
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Re: Open Gardens 2014

Post by tocyvi on Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:47 pm

Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts has grown considerably in the 2 months since the previous post. We have now enrolled 30 gardens into the scheme, 2 of which are châteaux, dispersed throughout 4 départements: the Creuse, the Haute Vienne, the Corrèze  and the Vienne.

The gardens are open for the weekend 28th/29th June from 10am – 7pm and visitors can view any or all of them for the same price as last year i.e. 5€. Tickets are available at any of the gardens; simply turn up, buy a ticket and use this ticket to access any of the 30 gardens taking part. Tickets can also be purchased via the website www.opengardens.eu or by mail from the address below.

Refreshments are available and some have a small variety of plants for sale. The charity for 2014 remains the same - “A Chacun son Everest” and a visit to their website will be rewarded with a poignant reminder of the value of their activities http://www.achacunsoneverest.com/

There can be few more pleasant ways to spend a summer’s day or two than strolling gently round a few gardens. A quick dip into the website will demonstrate the variety of gardens on offer and many of them are also ideal for having a picnic lunch, whether that be on the banks of the river Gartempe, beside a lake, amongst the trees or on the edge of a pond with a beautiful array of waterlilies, watching frogs sunbathing on the lily pads and the occasional newt surfacing to grab a bite to eat. The two handsome châteaux have superb specimen trees set in huge estates and are well worth a visit.

Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts is a registered organisation Nº W232001865

Tickets by mail from:
The Treasurer (Open Gardens)
1 La Combe
23300 Vareilles

Please make cheques payable to “Open Gardens”
Further enquiries to mick@opengardens.eu or telephone 05 55 63 43 12
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