An alternative to the Village Fete? This was the subject of a village hall committee meeting many months ago. Quite a departure but recent attendances to the annual fete had been declining, not helped by
inclement weather and the fact that fetes involve a lot of work!
An additional factor was the need to raise money to fund the proposed improvements to the Village Hall. These are extensive involving the entrance area and toilets for which planning approval has been obtained.
A separate committee was formed as considerable planning was needed for what was something never attempted before. The main consideration was what to do as St Michaels covers quite a large area.
The result took everyone by surprise and its success silenced the doubters.
Quoting the gardens to visit says it all. Woodland Garden, Rose Garden, the Rectory Garden, Work in Progress, Silver Tree & Pond, The Beekeeper’s Garden, Mayor’s Place, Children’s Garden, The Potting Shed, The Bookseller’s Garden, Cottage Garden & Golf and last but not least The Plantsman’s Garden. It was possible to spend an hour looking round the Plantsman’s Garden alone! In fact, many people paid visits on both days!
Obviously the starting point was the village hall where, in addition to buying a ticket, there was a variety of yummy cakes, cream teas, coffee and Pimms drink available. Additionally, there were arts and craft stalls, tombla and a display by Tenbury Floral Arts. The cooling Pimms drink proved very desirable on the Saturday, the hottest day of the year!
Many gardens offered additional attractions including a putting competition, croquet and slides and trampolining for the children. Others helped to raise funds including the sale of plants, second hand garden tools and equipment, honey and garden books.
The Woodland Garden was the furthest to reach along a bridlepath through beautiful countryside which involved a 10 minute walk. Well worth the walk however with its magnificent trees and the Cadmore brook running through it. An art exhibition by the St. Michaels Art Group was a bonus together with the generosity of the owner, running tired and overheated visitors back to the village hall in his car.
The fine weather was a help but the event attracted many who had not visited St Michaels before, some from as far away as Cornwall! Despite setting a special car parking area aside it became necessary to park along the roadside too, due to the huge attendance. The atmosphere and friendliness of everyone attending the event, be they villagers or visitors, was something to note. Is it something to do with gardens, gardeners and St Michaels? A substantial amount of money was raised!
The jury is out now…….…..after this huge success should the event be repeated next year?