Thursday, December 04, 2008

Open Garden 2008

After months of preparation it was close to our opening weekend, as always you pray for good weather. Well, the week leading up to the opening was very, very wet, in fact we had 265 mm of rain and the yard on the Friday was absolutely waterlogged.The garden was looking very good as this was our first opening where we had not been in drought Saturday was forecast for severe storms, supposedly worse that what had hit Brisbane earlier that week, the state Premier even went on radio to advise people not to leave their homes.As a result of the weather only 200 visitors came on the Saturday and the storms did not eventuate although it was very hot and humid.Sunday turned out to be fine but very high winds all day, but the visitors did arrive and we had close to 450 that day.Everyone enjoyed the garden especially one ten year old who signed the visitors book with this comment, “gardens are boring, but yours sure isn’t”.A lot of our usual visitors did not come and after talking to people later it was the weather that put them off.We had lots of helpers and at one time had five Swiss helpers; our connection with the Swiss is quite amazing. As usual Warrick and Fabienne's dogs provided lots of entertainment, ‘Diggity’ by diving into the swimming pool and the children loved the new pup ‘Fifi’.The caladiums were a picture; best I have ever seen them and the new front gardens were also a hit.The Capalaba Lions were great and the catering went off without any problems, the ‘Lions’ raised over $1500 from the catering and raffle and were going to put in more to help a girl with multiple sclerosis.Everything was down by 25% including plant sales, Judy hardly sold any of her large  $20 Neos, which was a shame as they were very good healthy specimens, mainly plants $10 and down sold, may have something to do with the financial situation at the moment?It was a pity about visitor numbers, 1000 seems to be a magical figure that is very elusive, and it’s strange as all our visitors say our garden is far better than any other garden they have visited.There’s always next year and of course there will be a new garden for people to see, this one will see the landscaping of the back yard completed.