Or, to look at it another way, 4 in 8. Shows in days, that is. It has been a busy last week or so on the events front, starting on Sunday 5th May with one of our favourites, the St John Garden Fair held for the tenth time in all but the second at the current venue of Wintershill Hall near Durley, here in Hampshire. Better weather than last year, when it was freezing cold and too boggy underfoot to bring vans on site, and this time we sold pretty much all of the two full vanloads of plants that we brought. The better weather certainly brought the crowds out and encouraged them to linger, so it was pleasingly busy all day.
Having recovered from that big day, on Thursday 9th May Rob sallied forth on his own to the wonderfully named Farleigh Wallop to attend another charitable event, the WOW Garden & Gift Fair held in and around the barns of the home farm. The key feature of the day was the wind which was strong enough to lift plants off the tables and encourage them to explore the joys of flying. The snag is, they did tend to come down with a bump. But at least plants generally don’t shatter, as was unfortunately the case of some of the gift items on other stalls that also did an Icarus.
Fareham was the destination on Saturday 11th May, when the West Street pedestrianised area played host to the first of two gardeners’ markets – we are elsewhere when the second one takes place in June. Lots of people were about, and quite a few gardeners amongst them, as we had a good day and found new homes for a lot of plants. As usual, we were next the bandstand and had a front seat at the entertainment, which this year was not the Irish folk band of recent times but an amateur pop and rock choir who belted out the hits to the appreciation of the crowds.
A reloaded van and a night’s sleep later it was off into Wiltshire to attend the Rare Plants Fair at Sharcott Manor near Pewsey. The exposed site did rather allow the wind to be the dominant element again, though the rain did have a good go at upstaging it in the afternoon. Despite that, there was a strong turnout, with cars queuing down the narrow access lane mid-morning, and we had a good day of sales and chatting to keen plantspeople. The gardens and grounds of the manor house were lovely, providing some fine examples of the cultivated meeting the natural, and being home to a group of pretty little oriental ducks, some of whom can be seen in the photo above.
Thankfully this coming weekend sees a single outing, to the Rowdeford garden fair, but after that things hot up again …..