Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Opening for the Garden Safari: things in their May magnificence

‘I bet that’s one for us’ I said to Steven as we sat at a table in our front garden, waiting for visitors who were coming as part of us opening for the ‘Garden Safari’ however the lady continued down the hill, re-emerging 5 mins later looking a bit flustered.

‘Excuse me, I’m looking for number 8?’ she asked, however seeing her Garden Safari booklet I proudly said how we were also opening. Really she asked…I looked back, a little perplexed as although our part of Camberwell does have some interesting characters I don’t think any sit at tables in their front garden, especially wearing a pith helmet.
Disclaimer: this household does own a pith helmet and Arisaema nepenthoides
So began our opening for the Dulwich Helpline/Southwark Churches Care garden safari….I wasn’t expecting big things as rain had been forecast all week and I didn’t think there would be big numbers….the parentals had also slipped off at 2pm to visit the other gardens saying how no one would be with us before 3pm as we were last on the route, however at 2:15 a steady stream of people started to come, and come and come and come. Before too long it was just like September with people everywhere….toddlers were escaping towards the pond, lots of people were stopping right in front of the bees, I was praying no one would be stung, and people were asking about the garden.

Over the afternoon over 200 people came so all in all they must have made about £1500+ which is great.
People who arent us in the garden! eek! note the Swedish flag on the summerhouse in honour of Saturdays Eurovision Song Contest
After my initial reticence I was pleased to do it....I had no idea how the garden would look as it is such a later summer garden, and currently in a period of transition as I also planted out 25 Ricinus seedlings over the weekend and have trays of seedlings waiting to go in. However doing this has enabled me to get up to speed with where I should be and do those things I had been meaning to do for ages (such as build a shrine to Bacchus/Antinious/Spirits of the land) This also helped me step back and actually see how things were looking fabulous! They aren't looking how I thought they would as 2 months ago I was planting foxgloves everywhere and expecting lots of Nigella however the forget-me-nots held creating a blanket of blue and it looked fabulous.

There were lots of impressed people which was nicely reaffirming, and a good few people who had already visited. Lots of nice planty people too…a big thank you to the guy who offered me a random Datura that his friend from Sao Paulo had sent him the seeds of, who then went home and bought it back for me! Hurrah! Thank you if you visited!

You could be in Holland....

Ganesha got dressed up properly in garb which we brought back from Bali, he does like to look his best for visitors

Keep back bees! all safely behind the mesh. Giant Echium in the background (Echiums were the hot topic of the day) Giant Inula in the foreground

The new shrine to Bacchus/Antinious/spirits of the land complete with fox skulls and headless rabbit and duck which was dug up. Architectural fragments were also dug up

Look at me looking like a vegetable grower, although dont get me started on the flea beetle issues I have with my rocket....


Lobelia tupa and forget me nots, the Lobelia is gradually migrating South

Balinese shrine updated with a new base which is the water lilly plinth we found in the old pond

Ding dong (so sad the Finish Eurovision entry didnt do better)

Is it a glamorous apartment in the South of France? no its my terrace looking nice

Alliums are everywhere....note how this spring bounty is just in a narrow border of the main bed. This is the only way they survive my mid bed planting and digging where I am always putting a fork through something

The technical term is that this fern is flushing....not to be confused with a blushing fern which is entirely different


  1. That's a fantastic turnout Clive, well done! The garden is coming along nicely as well and do love your various garden accessories including the newly garbed Ganesh :)

    1. Thanks! I look forward to your garden opening!

  2. I wish i had a Ganesha! Where is your spirithouse!!

    1. I would love a proper Spirit house and occasionally spend lunchtimes surfing the net for ones online, however they only appear to be tiny :( I feel a hunt coming on in Bangkok!