As the leaves change colour and fall from the trees, it seems very long ago that we prepared to reopen Denmans Garden to the public. Such confusion and uncertainty! Booking systems, risk assessments, signage, sanitizer…
As that strange third week in March ended with the closing of pubs and restaurants, we were determined to stay open for our community but two days later, on Mothering Sunday, we awoke to the news that the National Trust and RHS gardens had closed. Acting in what seemed to be in the public’s interest, we followed suit. Lock down started a day later.
The British government’s May announcement that gardens and garden centres could open was good news. The public had already missed so much including tulips, ribes, beschorneria, camellias, echiums, sisyrinchium, and smyrnium just to name a few of our favourites. We knew if we could re-open they would still enjoy the garden’s summer beauty. A newly named Royal Horticultural Society Partner Garden, we hoped to be busy on Thursdays when RHS members are free. We were also participating in the BBC’s two-for-one scheme.
But would anyone come?
It was far from certain when we opened our doors again on 4th June but happily they did! It was humbling to welcome the first tentative visitors, some out for the first time since lockdown. It was touching to learn that friends who were meeting friends they’d not seen for mon