On Sunday 8th June, I was fortunate enough to wander the streets of Didsbury venturing into people’s gardens as part of Didsbury Open Gardens 2014. Residents of Didsbury open up their gardens to the public for them to enjoy some exquisite designs and breathtaking blooms. From water features to elaborate trellis with climbing fragrant roses, some of the gardens are truly beautiful and captivating.
Didsbury’s first Charitable Open Gardens Event took place on Sunday 8th June 2008. What I love about the event is the sense of community amongst people. Owners are more than happy to welcome visitors of all ages to their garden and share the history of their home and garden with guests. Many owners serve a variety of delicious cakes and beverages inviting people to relax and enjoy their garden to their hearts content. I looked around one garden at the array of people sitting together and chatting, enjoying tea and cake. It was like looking at a public park as opposed to someone’s back garden.
Whilst perusing the gardens there was a sense of tranquillity. Many children were quietly engaged in observing flowers and bees as well as pond life, and it was lovely to hear parents talking to their children about the different plants and flowers.
Each garden usually attracts around 200 visitors, with local residents of all ages making their way around on foot or by bike to the 30 gardens available to view. All the money generated from ticket sales and donations for refreshments goes to charity. Usually money raised is within the region of £7000 which is shared between various charities.
This year, the main charity for which money was being raised was St. Ann’s Hospice. As well as private gardens there were also guided tours around Bradley Fold Allotments as well as a BBQ and live band at Nazarene College. For people who fancied a more unique food tasting experience, there was a free Pop Up ‘Pestaurant’ at Broomcroft Hall which featured a variety of deep fried insects and insects dipped in chocolate!
As a society I think we can get criticised for being detached from our neighbours and local community. In our modern world many of us can become consumed by various gadgets and devices such as iphones and mobile phones, opting to connect to the internet as opposed to another person; a sign of a loss of ‘human connection’ on a broader level perhaps. Experiences such as Didsbury Open Gardens reminds me that good ‘neighbouring’ and connecting with others in our local community has not disappeared. I certainly feel a sense of attachment to Didsbury as a place and as a member of its community. For me, my experience of events such as open gardens helps to create this.
Well done and a big thank you to all who participated in Didsbury Open Gardens this year.
For further information about Didsbury Open Gardens and other local events see the following links: