Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A Summer's Day in the Garden - Open Doors

The Endeavour has been great,
for now the task is done;

To sit back and let others judge
is harder than the the work itself.
No critical remark will go unheard.

The expert laying down the rules
remains polite.
Certain of her superior taste and knowledge
she graciously allows a word of praise
to cross her lips.

These ladies stand and stare.
Lost in admiration? 
A flash of inspiration?

The day is hot,
the Fernery promises welcome shade.
Here we can stop and study the programme at leisure.
"Where to next?"

The path leads to the fruit cage.
Why bother to enclose the fruit 
when birds have long ago slipped through the net 
and gorged themselves on juicy berries. 

A small vegetable garden
bristles with sticks.
The pigeons' favourite food 
are the tender green shoots of healthy lettuces.
Healthy for whom?

 It's time to go.

"Thank You and Goodbye,
your garden's lovely, 
you have a gorgeous spot here".


  1. Hello:
    Oh, how we can so identify with all of this. Each 'character' we have met a thousand times and more but each you personify with such wit and skill [and not unkindly]. The 'Expert' is so, so accurately described. How many times have we heard that single somewhat grudging note of praise? And then those who leave, with their 'nice spot' or, as we used to find, 'Lot of work - keeps you busy'. To which we, who are far less generous than you, would reply, 'We are not small children to be kept out of mischief'.

    All of that said we are so pleased that you were blessed with good weather and are sure that you had many, many appreciative visitors.

  2. OMG! This is lovely. You must get a blue ribbon or whatever your side of the pond thinks is a reward! Great photos and so British!

  3. very nice...my of my how does your garden grow...i am sure you have done well...glad no one judges mine...ha

  4. I love your beautiful garden take, Friko!

  5. You do have a lovely spot - I am glad the weather was kind to you.

  6. oh how she would sniff at my garden. Not tidy at all and quite rambunctious!
    You made me chuckle!

  7. You have a lovely garden - but you knew that anyway, didn't you? I really admire you having the courage to open your garden to the public. Shame about the 'expert' - do you get the opportunity to go and nose round hers?? Go on, I dare you;-)

  8. Your garden looks heavenly - but those ladies....yikes!! They are like something out of a Barbara Pym novel.

  9. This is perfect!! The character drawings are so true...we get the same thing in the quilting world of judging and assessment...and the same final echo as they move on. "Keeps you busy." Love this post, Friko!!

  10. The expert would come unglued at the sight of mine. I include a few "weeds" among the perennials. Your gardens are so luscious. I love the way you've described your opening, with generosity towards your visitors. Is it my imagination, or does your "expert" look like Barbara Bush, our first George's First Lady?

  11. Wow your garden is gorgeous! Had I one of my own it would look creepy as an abandoned cemetery lol I love the section about the birds getting the berries.

  12. Well done ~ jolly well done!!!

  13. What is that initial image? It's captivating.

    Years ago, before my husband and I were married, I was impressed by his reverence of a head of lettuce.

  14. Thank you for the tour! It smells so nice on the summer breeze in your garden!

  15. Lovely tour of your garden Friko. I did not realize you were subjecting yourself to critics, at least the judging kind of critics. You are brave. Dianne

    PS the lady in the center photo looks like the actress Stephanie Coal. She should give you good marks.

  16. Oh the pressure! Followed by relief. And now, Friko, I hope that you can enjoy your glorious garden for the rest of the summer. For it is a beautiful place. How could any of those intimidating ladies look down their noses?

  17. Your garden is amazing ! I did not know that you also had vegetables – as I said - amazing. I am pleased that there are no experts around here to look at mine – of course I don’t have a “garden” I have a “yard” made of rocks, weeds and trees. I think I’ll go out and take photos of it and post it for you so looking at my poor “green area” (don’t know what to call it) you’ll see that your garden is certainly “high quality.” I would drive many miles to visit a garden like yours Friko.

  18. I love the sensibly clad , firmly planted feet .
    What a wonderfully satisfying afternoon out it must be !
    Now I hope you've got your feet up and are enjoying the view .

  19. How interesting and lovely, Friko. Makes me pine for the"Isles"....xxxj

  20. Are you brave, or foolish, or
    just so open armed and big
    hearted that your secret garden
    can be tread upon and viewed
    by others? I never have been a
    person who wanted to be on my
    knees up to my wrists in earth,
    watching seeds turn to sustenance
    and blades to blossoms, but thank
    the gods you are there to pick up
    the slack. How fitting that your
    piece juxtaposes both the gaggle
    of visitors in your garden with those
    of us clicking in from Magpie, eager
    to feast on your creativity.

  21. Friko - your garden is lovely - the open day looks to be a great success!

  22. The hanging glass sculptures make a fitting introduction to this day when your garden, a living gallery, was also on display.

    The garden is a show piece in its entirety, but I wonder...what piece of it did your critic decide to praise?

  23. Gorgeous, gorgeous garden! And oh, how you fitted in the prompt to good measure! You rock, Friko!

  24. And so you do have a gorgeous spot. I wonder how many realize the hours and hours of hard work that go into such natural beauty.

  25. How perfectly beautiful. The garden and your post. I know they are secretly all envious of the two of you. Our Master Gardeners' just had their show. I used to go but just do my own thing these days. Have a goal to work toward such as that, however does keep you on your toes. Love the British humor. I watch anything I can get my hands on that says BBC, Just finished "Doc Martin."

  26. Friko, do you do this open garden every year? If so, my compliments to you not only on the beauty of your garden, but also on your ability to withstand garden going culture and skill at going with the flow.

    Looks as if the sun was out!

    Your report shows your fine writing applied to reportage.


  27. My mother would surely envy if she sees your beautiful garden...


  28. sunshine, a garden, summer Ts and dresses and sandals - a good day methinks.

  29. wonderfully well done!

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral


    > < } } ( ° >

    < ° ) } } > <

  30. You do have a beautiful garden and a gorgeous spot. That castle 'in' your back yard and the glorious hills that make up your view...
    I love the lady with the hat. So very British. She oozes knowledge and I'm sure she'll tell you what's to her taste and what not ;-)

    When our garden was still our garden, when our horses were stabled somewhere else and we didn't have the huge sandpit and small meadow and stables yet), we did open our garden gate for visitors a couple of times a year too (one weekend we had about 500 visitors). We had about 300 metres of beech hedges. Someone left 1 Euro for the guy who clipped the hedges. Hubs was very pleased ;-)

    And we had a guest book that almost everyone signed and wrote something in. Very touching to read those nice messages.

    I sometimes miss my gorgeous garden, but not the work involved. I always felt guilty when I just sat in it.

  31. I'm sure that most left, pea green with envy. What a very beautiful garden!

  32. I wish I could stroll around your beautiful garden... with my camera... hopefull not on a hot day. I'll never tired of being there till I'd be called for tea! :) I must do something about my garden.

  33. Your garden grows beautifully, as is your response to the magpie. :) Creative!

  34. I like Glenn's thought, that we lay ourselves openly and vulnerably in our blog gardens as you did your physical one. So beautiful, your heart and soul efforts with real fingers, sweat and toil.

  35. I would love to visit your beautiful garden and I definitely would not have a single critical thing to say! A garden is an intensely personal expression of ones own loves and this is what makes each one so unique. I don't believe in following recipes...not in the kitchen and not in the garden! It is our prerogative to tweak where ever it pleases us to do so.

  36. Love your garden--and your cast of characters. Why bother to enclose fruit, indeed?


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