THANK YOU for visiting us at our NGS Garden Ferns Lodge Open Weekend


Despite the almost universally rubbish weather this summer, the sun shone on the weekend of our NGS Garden Ferns Lodge opening at the beginning of June. We had a ball with lots of lovely people.


We served tea and cakes to 168 guests and welcomed many others who came to see what we’ve been up to. Our plant sale was fabulous, and Barbara’s chutneys and marmalade were, as always, a hit. Our helpers—Barbara and Michael on plants, Isabel and Josh managing finances, Melvyn overseeing the car park (a lovely field—thank you to Cameron and his polo ponies for their patience), Sue, Adele, Sophie, and Emilie in the kitchen, Lawrence handling social media, and the wonderful gardener Simon—were everywhere.


We have also welcomed U3A Totton, the Christchurch Gardening Group, and Woodlands Gardening Group to Ferns Lodge for private openings, and we have 3 more openings in the works. Many thanks to Sue for her incredible patience with my disorganization and for serving the teas…


All in all, Ferns Lodge garden will raise over £3,000 for the NGS, which will go to hospital charities. These include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Parkinson’s UK, Horatio’s Gardens, and Maggie’s.


How amazing is it that last year, gardens like Ferns Lodge across the UK welcomed enough people and served enough tea and cakes for the NGS to donate nearly £3.5 million to these amazing charities?

A big moment for me during this year’s opening was welcoming the Munro sisters back to their old home, Ferns Lodge! They grew up here during the Second World War, and you can see what the little lodge house looked like then.



It was a delight to meet them and show them the cottage that was once their home, as well as what has been done to the garden, which was wild even in their day.



For those of you who visited us and asked about the evergreen shrub with red flowers at the bottom of the top garden, often met with blank stares—of course, the Munros, avid gardeners, had the answer: it comes from Australia and is called Grevillea or red spider plant.



So now we are about at midsummer. The unseasonable cold and wet weather means that wellies are still de rigueur at Ferns Lodge. The high winds are challenging, and now that the foxgloves are fully out, it is difficult to keep them upright—but like other small gardening problems, this will pass. As the season progresses, we see the end of the spring flowering and the summer blossoms starting. The vegetables in the cage are shooting up, and tomatoes and cucumbers are forming in the greenhouse. It is a super exciting time of year.

Thank you all again, and as we start the spring cutback, we are already planning the next projects and will be starting on these very soon.