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Open Gardens

Open Gardens
21 September 2020

Margaret Fiddes from Sherburn and Villages u3a talks about how the Gardens group have started visiting each other's gardens again.

Our u3a garden group is very lucky. It has a keen membership who support everything we do and who are very sociable and active and so with lockdown, we had to adapt and think what can you do when you can't get together and visit any where?
Well back in March we set up a WhatsApp Group. About a third of our members joined straight away. Over 40 people were chatting about all their projects and sharing photos of seedlings and garden makeovers with great enthusiasm.
We asked people to video their gardens so we could have some virtual visits, and we set up a YouTube channel and shared those. We were itching to get back into gardens physically and enjoy actually seeing the places we were talking about.
In August one of our members volunteered to be the guinea pig for a garden visit.  After reading all the instructions on the government website and looking at the u3a risk assessments, we decided that it would be more than possible to go ahead.
Diane, whose garden it is, grows lots of interesting edible veggies that most of us had never heard of and so it was an extremely popular first event.  She took groups of 5 around the garden as a guided tour. She set out chairs in the front garden suitably spaced apart where we served tea from the garage.  The day started at 10 and  5 groups of people visited, staggered throughout the day.
Everyone really enjoyed the day and said what a breath of fresh air it was to get out and see one another again.
We've had more since which have been great successes. Now we have our sights set on the allotments run by 3 of our members.
Was there a downside?...well just the missing home made cake.  We thought it might be better to serve wrapped biscuits so we made them posh chocolate ones to make up for it!  How to serve tea on an allotment though....should we take the primus stove?

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