Beeston Open Gardens 2007
Well done to everyone who contributed in any way last Sunday to give Beeston such a vibrant community occasion at the Open Gardens Day. Twelve households threw open the gates to the private space of their gardens and visitors flooded into the village to enjoy gardening skills and ideas and savour the authentic atmosphere of a village striving to retain its rural identity in the 21st century. Twelve incredibly different, intriguing gardens were open between 2.00pm until 6.0pm to the public on Sunday 10th June, providing a kaleidoscope of life in Beeston. It was an afternoon thoroughly enjoyed by those who visited, and those who opened their gardens. The team spirit was tremendous. The village hummed with community spirit, humour, goodwill, and a touch of nostalgia.
Many thanks to everyone who gave so generously of their time and effort to make it such a happy, co-operative and outstanding success. Gill and Malcolm Holt and Sparkie, Helen and David Clough, Maureen and Mick Hall, Valerie and Mike Haygarth, Pat and Martin Gammie, Jean and Tony Castelle, Rose Barker and Raz, Natasha, Paul and Dylan Hetherington, Cynthia and John Tester, Doreen and Bill Lawrence and Bingo, Nina John and Thomas Morretti and Poppy and Roger Cope, opened their gardens, and worked tirelessly throughout the afternoon escorting people, answering interested questions and enjoying visitors rapturous comments.
The teas alone were worth coming for, impressively organised by Valerie Haygarth, with husband Mike, with a team of helpers of Penny Fattori, Katrina and Bryan Bourne. The tea tent and urn had been kindly loaned by Valerie and John Bickerdike, where visitors could fittingly refresh themselves. Many thanks to everyone who donated scrumptious cakes, and especially to Vicky Blackman who kindly donated a beautifully decorated garden cake for the raffle. This year Nicola Haygarth raised £128 with the raffle far out topping the £40 raised last year due to the generous donation of 20 prizes. Prizes were donated by Frosts of Willington, Gardeners Village, Seddington Nurseries, Chalkcroft Nurseries, Rita Pattinson, Cynthia Tester, Valerie Abrey, Doreen Lawrence, Valerie Haygarth, Pat Gammie, Jean Castelle, Myrna Beadle, and Pat Fowler. The plant stall raised £108.80. Thank you to everyone who gave plants and to Valerie and Malcolm Abrey who expertly ran the stall. Children had the opportunity to contribute to the artistic element of the day by painting and drawing in the tea garden and this was sensitively supervised by Trish Murphy and Joanne. The committee worked tirelessly throughout the year planning the event. Gill and Malcolm Holt were responsible for the impressive artwork, and the on the day efficient management was assisted by Frank Fattori who supervised the off road parking. Many thanks to all the visitors who came and made it such a special day. It was good to welcome Bedfordshire County Councillor John Scott and his wife, Peter Blaine of Beds CC MBDC and STC, Colin Osborne and Diane, Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Sandy, and Nigel Aldis of STC and MBDC on such a lively community occasion. Even the weather was perfect. There was something of interest for everyone from the practical to the imaginative, colourful flowers beds, immaculate vegetable gardens, formal and wildlife, new and long established, tiny and large, simple and ornate, water features in abundance, and creative and artistic ideas. Pat and Mike Fowler of Axiom Videos took a film of the day which it is hoped will be shown at an open meeting in the village in September.