A woman accosted us in a garden today exclaiming how brilliant it is being British. “Is there anywhere else in the world,” she asked, “Where the people in a village just open up their gardens for complete strangers to wander around?” She was rightly proud of living in such an amazing place. Best of all, it was while we were looking at the various unattached body parts of Horatio Nelson which were scattered about the aforementioned garden.
We were in Chawton for their Open Gardens day. We’ve been before. This year we managed to visit a lot of gardens that we’ve never visited before. (This included the garden of a house we actually viewed back when we were looking to move away from Folly Hill. As it turned out the house was beyond our budget and we wound up buying the cottage in East Worldham. Looking at the garden now, there’s no way we’d have been able to achieve such greatness.)
It was a glorious day for it as well. Clearly the people of Chawton have some sort of direct line to the Weather Gods.
Alongside the Open Gardens, they also have a scarecrow competition for the local kids. This year the theme was Horror. There was a plague doctor, an executioner (complete with decapitated heads), a weird scary nun, the various bits of Horatio Nelson and the mummy, along with many others. They were all quite clever.
As usual, the horses were out, pulling the weary footed around the village. This year it was Herbie and Silver pulling the cart. For all I know it might be Herbie and Silver every year.
Of course, it’s impossible to visit Chawton without popping into the Greyfriars for a bit of required refreshment. I have to say that Fuller’s Summer Ale is perfect on a hot day of garden viewing. Mirinda, however, went for the white wine spritzer.
All in all, it was a lovely day out enjoyed by not just us but also by Emma and Freya. In fact, it was an exhausted Freya who collapsed on the back seat almost as soon as we set off for home.
Finally, here’s a short video of Denmead, one of the new gardens (for us). The ceramic cat on the thatch has been there as long as we’ve been visiting Chawton. Apparently no-one knows quite why or when it first turned up. It is now a part of the fabric of the village.
And just to round the day off perfectly, I made a Sunday roast for dinner (lamb) which just goes to show that here at Chez Gaz, food nationality is always catered for…as long as it’s lo-carb of course.