I know that gardening isn't everyone's idea of a fun activity, and even fewer find reading about it to be stimulating. Hence the warning in the post title today. My husband could be considered one of those who don't find gardening that thrilling, which is part of the reason I went to the Open Gardens Day in Cookham Dean on Sunday without him. I made it to 4 out of the 5 gardens and it looked like the day was a big success, as there was loads and loads of people around with programs in hand. I paid extra for good weather on the weekend (we had a BBQ to celebrate someone's 30th birthday) and it was well worth the expense, plus the open gardens benefited as well from the mild good weather. As all the money was going to charity, Thames Hospicecare, so I'm glad so many people came.
It was a good mix of gardens, from some small ones about the size of our back yard to a big acre and a half plot which I didn't make it to sadly. I guess it makes sense to show a variety, rather than just the same type. I liked the two that also had vegetable plots the most. Partly because I liked the vegetables, but also because they felt like gardens people actually use and enjoy, rather than something created for a look or maintained to keep up the good surroundings of the house. But it was interesting see all of them. I'm sure lots of people were like me and were checking out the houses as much as the gardens. Cookham Dean is considered to be the rich part of Cookham, and there are some mansions about the place that would help you confirm it (not that the Rise or the village don't have them, but the Dean has more). So it's fun to have a gawk about and see how the better off live.
On my own allotment, I was getting a bit disheartened with the slugs eating my squashes, the grass growing better and faster than any of my plants, etc etc. But there is one thing that is keeping me going - I've had some absolutely fabulous strawberries this past week. They are one part of my plot where I've managed to keep the weeds in check and there were giant, sweet and flavoursome red jewels for me to pick as a reward for my vigilance. Lena likes them too. In fact, she currently doesn't make too much fuss leaving the playground and the swings to head over to the allotment, because she knows that the strawberries can be found there. G. has had very few of the strawberries, as between Lena and I, we usually manage to eat all the berries right there and then. Perhaps it will be encouragement for him to go up to the plot and do a bit of watering and maintenance for me while I'm away with Lena in Canada the next 2 weeks. A girl can hope.