Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Opening My Garden in 2000

In the Summer of 2000, along with a number of others in my church, we held an Open Gardens Day. This was in order to raise money to help the street children in Latvia. These children live in the sewers for warmth and shelter.

As well as serving drinks and snacks, each garden had it's own theme. The theme in my garden was a 'learn to paint' day. I was fortunate in having a friend who was a professional artist who offered his services free for the day.

So........friends, neighbours and whoever wanted to come paid a small entrance fee and were then free to sit or roam the garden, buy drinks and snacks, and plants, including my home made cakes. One could also enjoy afternoon tea of home made scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. There was also a 'bric-a-brac' stall where people brought anything they wanted to donate and the 'paint a picture' feature was very popular. People paid an hourly fee and painted for as long or short a time as they chose. My artist friend's plan was that everyone who took part would go home with a painting with his help.

This lady seen here, who had never lifted a paint brush before in her life, ended up going to my friend's painting holidays in France and Spain every year and became an accomplished painter.

Plenty of time to hang around and chat or drink tea etc.

.....or buy plants and bric-a-bac. The day was extremely successful and we raised quite a substantial amount of money between us. People came and went throughout the day taking in 6 gardens in all. One church member was a biker (the type of bike with an upholstered side-by-side seat at the rear) and he drove people between venues for a fee if they wished. Altogether an enjoyable day.


Vee said...

It looks like a wonderful inspired kind of a day. Thank you for including the story of the lady who looks quite concerned about her paiting. It's fun to know that she went on to do very well.

bennie and patsy said...

How wonderful that an accomplished painter came about just because of your garden party.

Naturegirl said...

A garden inspires one to create!
I see this lady was; to express with paint!
Barbara it has been too long since I stopped by for a visit! Lots has happen here at this end.
Looking at these images makes me anxious for garden parties!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think that is a great idea to raise funds for a good cause. I've heard of a few others doing that for church related fund raisers. What a beautiful day you had too!

Needled Mom said...

That sounds like such a great idea and for a wonderful cause as well. Do you still do it?

Martha said...

I love garden tours -- whether going to them or hosting them! Sounds like a great fundraiser and I like the idea of the other additions to the tour -- here we seem to just tour gardens! I may have to adapt some of that!

Isobel said...

Hi dear Barbara,
Looks like it was a wonderful day. Very beautiful and sunny!

Lorrie said...

This is a brilliant idea! I love the concept of having different themes and the painting one is inspired.


melissa said...

Barbara...thanks so much for the sweet post you left me. And your photos here are wonderful...just wonderful. :)

La Petite Gallery said...

Dear Barbara,
What a lovely thing you did.
The gardern is beautiful and I am sure everyone went home happy. Very clever idea. Spring is almost
upon us in Maine.

thank you for the post.


Carolyn said...

Now that sounds like my kind of day! Great way to raise money.


Flowers said...

What a beautiful garden! I would have loved to walk there, and see all the gorgeous flowers! Thanks for sharing

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hi Barbara.... What a brilliant way of fund raising and such fun too. Your garden looks beautiful with such activity going on. Wish I could have been there.
Well done to the lady who found such an interest in painting.

Elizabethd said...

What a lovely day that must have been, and such a pretty garden to stroll around. A very good idea to have your artist there too.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea and day Barbara! I used to go to the ones near us in Oxford -in a yellow booklet. I met a Hymalayan Rose in one garden 20ft up in a conifer but still smelling wonderful. A great way to meet people and plants. :-)

I love how you had painting there too. So often plants and painting go hand in hand.

Jeanne said...

Blessings and much love to you
I am so glad I found you again.......
Blessings t you and yours

Thanks for your visit and kind words♥

*Ulrike* said...

Hi Barbara! That was such a wonderful garden party that you did. How interesting that the lady did so well. Were you able to take any photos of her paintings? There is always talent out there no matter what your age!
Have a wonderful week!

Betty said...


What a fun way to spend the day and to aid others in the process.

My cousin, Pat Burns a very talented painter, is participating in 'Paint America' on May 1st. Artist gather in a location and paint surroundings, the pictures are then sold to benefit others.


Dawn said...

What a lovely day that must have been. I really love the story about the woman who discovered her hidden talent!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. My brother lives in Manchester and I would love to get over there and see his garden!

Darla said...

Brilliant cool about the lady who became an accomplished painter!

Anonymous said...

I think the best bit in this lovely post is the woman who discovered her talent for and enjoyment of painting!
Of course your garden looks super
and the tea would have been quite an attraction too.
A cream tea -just thinking of it fills me with nostalgia---and greed.
Henry James S. is growing apace.

La Petite Gallery said...

Barbara, so glad you saw Charlies vidio. His cartoons were really over the top.. My Dad said he built all the props and backgrounds , Did you see the bird that eats metal and lays an egg
when it hatches it's a car.
Thanks for the comment.. yvonne

Bishop Stone said...

Your garden looks like such a creative and relaxing space. And since you are such a well travelled lady I wonder if you could tell me if there are any must sees for a family with young boys and an older girl who will be driving from heathrow to swansea in a few months time. We want to stop along the way to break the trip up and entertain the kids. cheers.

a woman who is said...

I love how you British do everything around a garden. So amazing. I would love to live in your country in the summertime.

All my favorite things wrapped into one. Gardens, art, tea, food, cake, plant sale, and what we would call a yard sale. Simply amazing...and all for charity. Just love it.

Jill said...

This is absolutely grand! You are so cool!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story you have shared and a good cause too.

You asked on my blog what a Siggie was. It is a quilt block that you sew and put your name, country, date and decoration on. When I get enough I will make a quilt or book from them.


Mike said...

Sounds fantastic Barbara. Making me dream of summer days!

Charm and Grace said...

What a lovley post. We have a church here in town who does garden tours, similarly, to raise money for missions. I particularly liked the story of the woman who became an accomplished painter. :)


Kate said...

How lovely - the weather looked amazing too!! I think painting soothes the soul - we all see the same things but they all differ on canvas!