The return of the Open Gardens
This year the Open Gardens made their comeback to our beautiful village. Who would believe that 18 months ago most of the gardens which opened their gates to the visitors were submerged by the waters of the river Yarrow in one of the worst floods that affected the village. Despite the extensive devastation to around 200 families and business, the Croston community pulled together and through a variety of fundraising events managed to get the village to its pre-flood glory. The determination and passion of my fellow villagers culminated in winning the gold and first prize in the North West in Bloom Awards just 6 months after the floods. This is just one of many awards that the village has claimed in the past couple of years.
Let the Gardens Be Open
On Sunday, 9th of July, the gardens were opened to the villagers and visitors from afar. The sun was shining and it could have not been a better day for the event. The attention to detail was astounding, from the set up of the Open Gardens HQ at the village church, signposting to decorations round the village. Every visitor was given a beautifully hand-painted map and, in a style of a treasure hunt, we all followed the trail to find 18 gardens, each a different size, style and offering something for everyone. The organisers also made sure that everybody local was included in the project. The local artist, Charlie Holt, worked with pupils from the local school in designing flowers which were “planted” in the garden next to the river Yarrow.
It is worth mentioning that all the proceeds from this year’s event were donated to the local Croston Together charity. The charity supports village organisations and also new community initiatives such as the annual Croston Music Festival, the community mini bus and the community garden.
The Tour of the Open Gardens
I have to admit the gardens were breathtaking. I got completely “garden jealous” and I can’t count the number of “wows” and “awws” I uttered during the day. All the gardens were stunning and the owners were always engaged and keen to explain the idea or inspiration for the garden. It is hard to pick favourites but I loved garden number 10 which was a small oasis of greenery with a secret door at Yarrow Close. Garden number 18 was massive and immaculate with beautiful plants, water garden and actual steps leading down to the river. I was also taken aback by the gorgeous Victorian garden number 7 at Westhead Road featuring stunning white hydrangea as the main focus. I have lived in the village for 15 years now and I pass these houses on nearly daily basis and I never anticipated there were so many gems hiding behind the gates. I would like to thank the owners for opening their doors to the public so we can admire their gardens and also got inspired by them to look at my own little patch of green grass… I am already looking forward to the next year’s event!