SUNSHINE AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT MAKE OPEN GARDENS A GREAT SUCCESS

Sunshine and community spirit made Crewkerne Open Gardens a great success. It is estimated that around 234 tickets were sold during yesterday afternoon from the collection point outside of the town hall. The owners of 22 private gardens across the town took part in the Bank Holiday Monday event, which raised funds for the 15th century parish church of St Bartholomew. The gardens that were opened to the public were situated in Mount Pleasant, East Street, Market Square, Church Street, Abbey Street, Poples Well, Belle Vue, Middle Path, Barn Close, Lyme Road and Whitehall Court.

Garden layouts ranged from courtyard and walled gardens to rockeries and terraced gardens with spectacular views across the town and beyond and one with its very own viewing platform. Features included ponds, fountains, statues and sculptures and planting varied from colourful and scented flowers, to shrubs and trees, all with a wildlife friendly theme.

A spokesperson for Arts @ St Barts said: “Thank you to the amazing venue hosts, who worked so hard to get their gardens looking so attractive, and to everyone who bought tickets and visited the gardens. We hope you had a day as uplifting as ours. We are tired but happy and still basking in a warm glow.”

Visitors arrived at the gardens clutching their maps and were either on foot, had cycled or received a lift by car. All were eager to pick up gardening tips from the hosts at the different venues. Crewkerne Gardening Club member Barbara combined running a plant stall with opening her and Bob’s garden at Belle Vue. Barbara will be sharing the proceeds from the plant sales with the gardening club and St Bartholomew’s Church.

Covid safety measures were in place at all the venues but being outside and being able to socialise with friends, at a safe distance, after such a long waiting period instilled a sense of freedom and was a priceless experience. This prompted suggestions for the next Open Gardens in 2023, that three hours was not long enough to visit all the gardens on the map and the event should either be held over two days of the May Bank Holiday or start earlier in the day.

The success of the event, organised by Arts @ St Barts in association with the Friends of St Bart’s and supported by Crewkerne Gardening Club provided evidence why Crewkerne is such a great place to live. This was nationally stated a day earlier in a news article in the Sunday Times. Writing in the Home section of the newspaper, Hugh Graham in his article entitled ‘The Siren of Somerset’ stated the benefits of buying a home in Somerset and after mentioning two businesses in Martock and in Ilchester, wrote ‘They are near the pretty market town of Crewkerne, which is only two and a half hours from London by train.’

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