Today is a first… the very first Somerset Garden Day… and when we first heard about it, our ears immediately pricked up!
We have a garden! We work like loons in it a lot of the time, but it’s one of the most brilliant parts of our lives and we love the challenge it’s given us – being outside lots, learning to grow our own food, learning how to look after a garden that before us was part of the National Garden Scheme.
After moving here from a cottage that had virtually no outside space, it’s certainly kept us on our very inexperienced gardening toes… but what are you meant to do in your own garden on Somerset Garden Day? Who came up with the idea to set aside a day to celebrate our gardens and how do we all get involved?
Well, the day itself was the idea of a group of gardeners who noticed they spend so much time working on gardens that they rarely make time to sit back and appreciate them... so a day for us all to down tools and enjoy the benefits of the heart, soul and hard work we put into our plots sounds perfect!
There aren’t any rules (that’s garden birdsong to our ears!). It’s just about taking time to celebrate your garden in your own way. We’re definitely up for a bit of that, so we chatted to Somerset Garden Day ambassador, horticulturalist and self-confessed plant nut, Sara Venn, to find out a bit more. Sara also founded Incredible Edible Bristol – a food growing movement that’s inspiring people all over the city to take pieces of land and get growing food on them. It’s awesome and you can discover more about that right here.
Anyway, here are Sara’s Somerset Garden Day Four Thoughts:
Why did you decide to launch & celebrate Somerset Garden Day?
I decided to get involved as I think celebrating the outdoor spaces we design, make and enjoy is something we rarely allow ourselves to do… concentrating instead on what we haven't done, those untidy corners and dastardly weeds! Sometimes it's good to focus on what's important and to me, that's the achievements that have been made - large or small - and celebrating those with other people who'll really enjoy that space.
How can people get involved?
Getting involved is really simple. Just stop, put your tools down, invite friends and family around, open the wine or put the kettle on and enjoy the space - celebrating what's been achieved with those people. You could take pictures and share them with all the other people taking part, by using the hashtag #SomersetGardenDay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram… and spread the message of celebration!
Can you tell us a little bit about your garden & what you'll be up to in it on the day?
My own garden is quite small, very Urban, and filled with anything and everything. As a professional horticulturalist I love plants and my garden is an eclectic mix of ornamentals, fruit and veg plants all working together to create what I like to think of as a beautiful mess! On the day, I’ll be taking time out to really appreciate that mess! :)
Tell us a secret about Somerset Garden Day that no-one else knows?
Many of the photos used on the Somerset Garden Day website are from our ambassadors' very own back gardens!
Next year, our aim is to get a secret that’s juicier than a punnet of home-grown strawberries… but in the meantime, I’ve started to celebrate today with a little stroll around our own garden with a cuppa - just to take time to take in the beauty of it, which I do sometimes forget to do when I’m on hardcore nettle pulling duty! ;)
Anyway, have a great day however you’re celebrating it. It’s an awesome reason to take time out, stop weeding for a day, relax and have some fun. We’d love to see how you’re enjoying your gardens today, so defo let us know by tweeting or instagramming us using #somersetcool.
And... even more exciting than that is that the lovely people at Somerset Garden Day are running a cool competition. If you share a photo of yourself enjoying your garden using #SomersetGardenDay you’ll have the chance to win £3,000 to spend in your garden. Whoop! :)