Open Gardens questions and answers for entrants

Intro3Q1 What is Open Gardens 2018?
It is an opportunity for Two Mile Ash residents to open their gardens to others to show the immense variety of what can be achieved on our often challenging plots. We will also be displaying some TMAEG environmental projects.

It is planned as a highlight of the Two Mile Ash calendar, a wonderful summer event to celebrate our gardens and the creativity of our gardeners.

It follows in the footsteps of three earlier events – Open Gardens 2013, 2014 and 2016, also run by Two Mile Ash Environmental Group (TMAEG).

Q2 What are the dates/times?
Saturday June 30th & Sunday July 1st 2018, 1pm to 5pm

Q3 Is it dependent on the weather?
Obviously we are hoping for a fine, sunny day but with our climate becoming more changeable there can be no guarantee of that. We had heavy rain at the start of Open Gardens 2014 but the event proceeded and we still had a good turnout.

Q4 Why should I enter Open Gardens 2018?
Many of you have spent considerable time preparing your gardens and extending your living environment in a way that suits you. Others amongst you may just be about to start, or you may be thinking about a complete or a partial makeover. Either way, you will have some sort of vision as to how you want your garden. Open Gardens provides a target date for you to work towards and an opportunity to show your achievements to others.

Q5 But does my garden need to look like a show garden?
Some of our open gardens do! However, there is no requirement that they should and visitors will appreciate just as much a garden that is ‘work in progress’. Please remember that this is not a competition and there are no prizes. But we do value variety and a wide range of ideas. You can read brief descriptions by some of our previous Open Gardeners in the gallery.

Q6 I don’t wish to enter Open Gardens this time round, but are there any other ways that I could help?
We suggest two ways. First, you could encourage your friends and neighbours to enter, or you could point out gardens that you like to us. Secondly, on the day you could assist people who do open their gardens.

Q7 Do I have to pay to enter Open Gardens 2018
There is no specific entry fee but we will invite new Open Gardeners who are not already TMAEG members to join our organisation. That costs just £5 per year per household and gives you access to a range of other events.  Explore our TMAEG website for more details.

Q8 How many people are likely to visit my garden?
This will depend to some extent on the weather but on the basis of previous years you can expect around 100 visitors spread over the two days – the equivalent of 25 couples each day.

Q9 How is Open Gardens funded and what formalities would I need to follow on the two days?
Our Open Gardens Passport grants admission to each garden and is validated at the first garden chosen by the visitor(s), at which a small entry fee is charged (£2.50 per person 14+; accompanied children free).  These payments will contribute to the funding of the scheme for which sponsorship is also being sought. In addition to collecting those fees, we ask Open Gardeners to keep a record of the numbers who have visited their garden.

Q10 Can I make it a charity event and nominate the charity?
Certainly. In the three previous Open Gardens a total of over £900 was raised for a wide range of causes. This was achieved through the sale of teas and cakes, book sales, plant sales and other activities.

Q11 Do I need to provide refreshments and if so who covers the cost?
This is for individual Open Gardeners to decide; experience shows us that the provision of refreshments is much appreciated by our ‘passport holders’.

Q12 What about access and security?
Ideally, access to the garden from the public highway should be via a side or a rear gate. We will indicate on the Passport whether or not a garden is fully or partially accessible to wheelchair users. We are happy to discuss security concerns with those considering opening their gardens.

Q13 I’m still not certain whether my garden would fit the bill, can I be given advice? 
Certainly, just give us a ring on 01908 561365 (Chris & Pavla) or 01908 566345 (Lin).

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