Open gardens, Oxfordshire

The Yellow Book Scheme is a very British thing it seems to me. The premise being to open your garden and invite folk in, sell tea, cake and cuttings, then give the takings to charity.
The charities they support are close to my heart and I love going around gardens, especially those gardens which are on a scale that I can relate to my own small patch. I’m always on the look out for ideas that I may be able to translate for my own use.

Earlier in the summer we walked around a collection of gardens which had opened together, in one little community. It was a true ‘village affair’ – with the village hall open for tea and cakes, and 7 gardens open.  It was warm and there was a breeze – a quintessential English afternoon, just like you may see in ‘Midsomer Murders.’

The village topology is very different from ours, even though it is only a few miles away. Our village is flat: not a contour in sight. The village we explored yesterday is steep and has a river running through it.

To my mind it was a bargain – £5 a head, plus a little for the tea later on.

Early summer border

Green man face at the back of an arbour

What do you keep at the bottom of your garden?

Waterside primulas

There’s no doubt that some of these gardens are owned by those without much financial constraint, but others are not. It is the eye for detail that seems to make the difference and make a place special.



  1. Sounds like a great afternoon…and what a pretty village…

  2. I love the classical English garden. And I also set my first novella in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. 🙂

    1. Hi ralfast, thanks for popping in!
      Are you UK based?

      What’s the title of your Novella, please?

      1. No, I live in Puerto Rico. The name of my novella is Neither Here nor There….which is still looking for an agent/publisher at this moment. But I am a devout Anglophile! 😀

      2. excellent!

  3. oooh, if I ever emigrate it would be to the south of England for an English garden

    1. 🙂

      Good when the weather’s with us

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