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Garden rejected by NGS-Gutted!!

(27 Posts)
GardenDragon Fri 24-Jul-15 22:08:24

Just come on to drown my sorrows really! Two terribly nice ladies came round, had a good look at everything, seemed really interested in my garden, then at the end said thanks but no thanks! Ah well that's life, but I really thought my garden would be interesting to other people, feel a bit foolish now for even thinking it! Has anyone else had experiences with the National Garden Scheme?

HumphreyCobbler Fri 24-Jul-15 22:10:42

Ah, don't let it get you down. It is all very subjective! Why didn't they give more specific feedback?

GardenDragon Fri 24-Jul-15 22:14:46

They said it has to give visitors 45 minutes of interest. I had seen that on the website but assumed it included time for a cup of tea. I have a large town garden but we are not talking acres. I have myself visited other peoples back gardens of a similar size and not got 45 minutes worth, even with a cup of tea. I suspect they use that as an excuse when they want to turn people down.

Floralnomad Fri 24-Jul-15 22:18:20

I remember watching a TV programme in the past about people trying to get their gardens onto this scheme and it did come across a bit like an exclusive club that some of the members don't actually want anybody new to join IYSWIM . I wouldn't take it too personally .

GardenDragon Fri 24-Jul-15 22:21:40

Thanks Floral, its a shame as surely the point is to raise money for charity?The more gardens the better? But yes, it did feel like a club that they did not want me to join!

CMOTDibbler Fri 24-Jul-15 22:22:26

Maybe the time thing varies if you would be part of a group of gardens - in my little town all the NGS things are on the same day and you get a little guide and a wristband (can't move for oldies), so people trundle round them in turn. Some are really tiny, and only one can I think possibly would be 45 min of interest.

HowD Fri 24-Jul-15 22:27:17

Was there no feedback on how you could improve the garden?

I went to a small back garden and you wouldn't spend 45 minutes there.

Floralnomad Fri 24-Jul-15 22:30:54

Some of the villages near us do those open garden afternoons , but not gardens that are in the NGS ,perhaps you could see if there is anything like that near to you OP - or instigate one locally , there is probably a local horticultural society.

GardenDragon Fri 24-Jul-15 22:32:19

No feedback on improving it, just the 45 minutes thing. On the way out one of them said the parking situation had put them off, parking is difficult right outside the house but there is a large,free car park just around the corner. The decision had been made before I even got the chance to mention that though.

HowD Fri 24-Jul-15 22:33:50

Can you post some garden pictures?

DoreenLethal Fri 24-Jul-15 22:36:26

I would take it as a compliment.

'Not blousy enough'.

chamerion Fri 24-Jul-15 22:37:47

I can't think of many gardens that would have 45 mins of interest, just not big enough.

GardenDragon Fri 24-Jul-15 22:43:52

Doreen smile That is basically what my DH said.

HowD, I am a bit wary of posting pics, A) because of the outside chance that those two ladies are on MN and recognise it, and B) it has shaken my confidence a bit so I don't want to put my garden into the public domain at the moment!

The group gardens thing sounds a possibility but how is it arranged? Would I have to find all the other gardens in the area myself? How would I even know who has a decent garden? (Neighbours both sides currently have building work going on so skips in gardens etc)

Floralnomad Fri 24-Jul-15 22:49:10

Look up the local garden / horticultural society or failing that visit the local allotments and see if anyone there knows what's about locally .

MoreBeta Fri 24-Jul-15 23:02:12

We have an open garden day in our town. Just one day a year you can visit any garden that has a sign outside. That said anyone can look over my garden gate. Does your town have a scheme like that?

funnyperson Sat 25-Jul-15 03:24:51

Sympathy : it is brave of you to put your garden in. Maybe you could have an open day for charity anyway like on the day of the Big Lunch or something?
The 45 minute thing I suppose is if people drive from a long way to see the garden, though I tend to be a half hour person myself. The rest of the time is spent chatting rather than looking!
If it was only the 45 minute thing perhaps you could get together with a neighbour to open on the same day?
I've been to some tatty gardens that shouldnt really still be in the scheme and others where the owners have been tearing their hair out because the day is set far in advance and the particular plants in the garden havent flowered and so theye've spent a lot of money planting new stuff just for the ngs day. I've been to others definitely in the blowsy category
Humphrey's garden is definitely one of the nicest I've been to!
My garden isn't nice enough to open to charity as there are too many messy bits and I like my privacy, but I love having neighbours and friends round.
Is it an exclusive club? Possibly. Like the WI maybe? Maybe you didn't have the right linen and pearl outfit on? Maybe you didnt wear the right hat? Genuine panamas at the flowers shows are £60 each. I'm sure I wouldnt fit in!
Maybe your area gets lots of applications for the ngs and they can afford to be very picky. Who knows but I do think they should give you better feedback and suggestions, after all, that is one of the advantages of having experts look round your garden.

mathanxiety Sat 25-Jul-15 03:41:42

We have an open garden day thing here too. The gardeners self select and it is up to them how they feel about sticking their necks out and perhaps having people look down their noses. People buy tickets for the event and walk from garden to garden, spread out over about four square miles. There is usually a rain date. Proceeds go to a charity. I think it started with the local newspaper hoping to generate an event they could report on smile. But it has proven popular.

The first year it was run was the one where everyone who was interested went in sort of blind, and then in following years people understood the standard of 'interesting' that generated approval from those who bought tickets.

Some gardens are traditional, some are avant garde, some huge and some small -- a patio or two have featured in the last few years -- shady, sunny, vegetable, floral, aquatic, etc. are all lovely, as well as traditional lawn and borders.

kickassangel Sat 25-Jul-15 04:53:43

Is your garden a long way from others in your town? Could it be that it would just be out on its own, not easily part of a walk round nearby places?

I also wonder if your neighbours' skips might not help.

Or maybe you're just not in the right part of town according to their own sense of where is desirable!

GardenDragon Sat 25-Jul-15 08:00:45

Or maybe you're just not in the right part of town according to their own sense of where is desirable!

I think that is partly it, yes. We are not in an affluent part of town, but the gardens in this neighbourhood are mostly bigger than average.

The neighbours skips could not be seen from the garden as it is completely enclosed with shrubs on all sides.

The nearest participating garden at present is about 1 mile away, but it is a commercial garden so a lot bigger - I have visited it myself but did not get 45 minutes out of it.

Anyway, thanks for all your support, I am feeling a lot better for having posted now!

AccordingToOurRecords Sat 25-Jul-15 08:30:49

I'm sure your garden is lovely OP and others would love to have a look and enjoy it. I know I would. I work in a garden that is part of the scheme and to be honest all I ever see is the stress it brings ( it's a very big walled garden). It's a very beautiful, serene place and visitors do comment on the lovely energy there BUT what they don't see is the owner working herself into a heap, organising, baking and gardening until the light goes in the run up to the open day.

GardenDragon Sat 25-Jul-15 08:37:11

That's a fair point According! At least I don't have to worry if my lawn is looking crap and full of weeds anymore!

UniS Sat 25-Jul-15 08:43:20

I've opened our garden for the village open gardens day. Its just a family garden with a veg patch. Had lots of visitors for a shirt look round and a smaller number ( families with children )who settled down and enjoyed the hammock, climbing frame etc

GardenDragon Sat 25-Jul-15 09:54:30

Uni- that sounds lovely! I wondered if the presence of my children was also off-putting, not the physical presence as they were not there during the inspection, but that my garden is obviously a family garden. I have got quite a few quirky features which I added to interest my children. As the children play in the garden i can't be too precious about it things being 100% manicured. I just thought there was room for more relaxed gardens in the NGS as well as the the very formal types. Oh least my children love it!!! They are both shaping up to be good little gardeners!

SilasGreenback Sat 25-Jul-15 10:05:29

One of our neighbours just leafleted local streets advertising an open garden (plus tea and cake) I think for RNLI. We couldn't make the day but I'm sure others would have gone. Moseying around 'normal' gardens is more interesting I think than the ones with fleets of gardeners. I want to see something I might be able to do in my own garden.

aircooled Sat 25-Jul-15 10:58:57

I think the fact you were confident enough to ask the NGS to look at your garden means it must be lovely - don't be disheartened. I offered my garden two years ago and they wanted to include it but encouraged me to get some other gardens in the village too - they think people are more inclined to travel if there are several to look at. Two neighbours joined in and we had lots of visitors, it was a successful day. This year they didn't want to join in again so I did it alone and still had lots of visitors who lingered over their tea and cake - it was a great day! I also had ten group visits booked and met lots of lovely people.

I find the 'quality' of NGS gardens very variable, I recently went to a village opening of about 7 gardens - to me only two had anything vaguely interesting about them - the whole visit was disappointing.

It's worth trying to set up your own open garden even if the NGS said no - like me you seem to want to 'share ' your garden (after all the hard work!) rather than 'show off'. Go for it!

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