The next Gardens Open will be the weekend of 15th and 16th June 2019 and follow the usual pattern.
GARDENS OPEN 2017
This was another great success. The money raised will be used to help fund the maintenance of St. Peter’s Church over the next two years.
The weather was very kind and over 600 people attended over the two days. On the Sunday it was particularly hot which meant numbers were a little down on those of the previous day. Over 20 village gardens were open – all looking their very best. Teas in the Tithe Barn were as usual very popular and the books, collectables and plant stalls were busy with visitors buying bargains and tombola tickets. This year, a new very interesting attraction was the Children’s Sculpture Competition sponsored by Blackmore Vale Arts and Castle Gardens of Sherborne. There were 17 impressive entries, many of which were stone animals.
Another new feature was music provided by members of the Sturminster Newton Orchestra. A small group organised by John Harding added to the ambience by playing light classics on the lawn outside the Tithe Barn.
Village events like this just don’t happen – they are the result of many months of planning and hard work – Shane Johnston, very ably assisted by husband David, took on the daunting role of organising it all and should be congratulated on the outcome. Behind the scenes she was supported by a loyal and enthusiastic team, who over many months sought sponsorship, arranged advertising and carried out the many nitty-gritty tasks which often go go unrecognised. The stallholders spent not just many hours but in some cases weeks collecting and preparing items as well as manning the stalls on the two open days. Many people in the village played a part and the efforts of the villagers who opened their gardens, made cakes, grew plants and donated prizes and items for sale all deserve special thanks.
Particular thanks must also go to Mr & Mrs Pitt-Rivers for opening the Manor Gardens and for allowing use of the Tithe Barn as well as to our major sponsors, Harts of Stur, Symonds & Samson, the Southern Co-operative Society, Wessex Water as well as many other local businesses who gave financial assistance.