18 June 2012

Like Bees Round An Echinops

bees echinops

Yesterday the back streets of Didsbury were filled with swarms of people in search of a good garden. All you had to do was look down a street and where you saw a congregation near a front gate you knew there would be an Open Garden.

If you followed them in you entered a secret world of newly laid lawns, box hedging, and RHS recommended plants. Like bees round an echinops we drank up the ambrosial beauty of an English garden under the unpredictable sky of an English summer. Where else in the North West can you admire someone’s ability to hire a garden designer while being served tea and cake by pretty privately-educated girls?

Do you detect the slight tang of bitterness in my words? Hand on heart I enjoyed the event; it’s a privilege to experience genuine beauty, and I would like to thank the owners for letting us intrude on their private space. However it was created, through years of nurturing or tons of money, a garden has an air of vulnerability; it is after all the realisation of a personal dream.

I ended the day with two impressions:

  1. The current worry about bees is misplaced. They are doing fine; the gardens were full of them. Domestic gardeners and their designers have evidently got the message to plant more bee friendly plants
  2. Didsbury is a world unto itself.

Update: I've heard in one of the gardens the planting alone cost £35,000!