It was over cast and wet at The Secret Gardens of Oxton and I had forgotten my camera so you are spared the pictures of Morris Dancing. Someone kindly pointed out that most of them had beards not dissimilar to mine. Like any man I like to carry and occasionally wave a big stick but should you ever catch me attaching bells to it and my knees then please wrap me up in straitjacket and have me taken away.
For those who don’t know The Secret Gardens in a Sunday in May when 25/30 gardens in Oxton village open themselves up to the public. This provides an excellent opportunity to nose. It is not often that you can walk into a total strangers back garden, pad across their lawn and get to see what they are doing with their veg patch and, more importantly, what papers have they got lying across the kitchen table. Because most of the kitchens look out over the garden. And if it is not a kitchen there will be a nice summer room to be looked into.
People must spend months getting their garden ready for the big day but you suspect that with some of the houses almost as much thought goes into what can be left lying around to send out the right message to all those strangers peering in.
The other small pernicious pleasure is spotted the odd clump of ground elder which tells me that someone else is spending as much time as I do in trying to keep the stuff at bay.
This year I only had time time for a couple of gardens along Victoria Mount. I came back jealous at the size of their greenhouses and the neat and ordered raised beds in their veg gardens.
There was nothing to be done in our garden as the rain came down and revision fever continued inside.