As the year draws to a close, most gardeners are taking a well earned rest. But in the Lewis Cottage garden life is busier than ever. From gathering leaves and moving pots to planting hedges and ordering seeds, there are no end of jobs to be done in December, says Richard Orton.
It’s the height of summer and the garden is running away with itself; armfuls of veg to be picked, hedges needing to be trimmed and lawns to be mowed. In his magnificent garden at Lewis Cottage, Richard Orton admits that he sometimes feels overwhelmed by it all. But the sheer bountifulness of it all easily pushes those feelings aside and allows him a little time to appreciate the little triumphs and successes of the year so far.
Following a year and a half in lockdown keeping our hands clean, it seems that getting your hands dirty may be the key to boosting your health and mental wellbeing. That’s why an opportunity to arise in Crediton could provide a lifeline for local people, as Bracken Jelier discovered when she visited the Barnfield community allotment.
Last month the owners of Lewis Cottage celebrated 10 years of opening their garden in support of the National Gardens Scheme, an organisation that has been encouraging the public to visit privately owned gardens since 1927. Here Richard Orton reports on how the scheme has not just made a huge contribution to health charities but has motivated him and his friend Michael Pell to continue developing their special garden.
When Lewis Cottage Garden opened to the public over the May bank holiday weekend, Richard Orton was not just surprised by the number of visitors but the wide age range of the people who came. Here he reflects on the joys of sharing your garden with others and what even those with the smallest outdoor spaces can learn from such visits. The garden is open to the public again on the weekend of 26/27 June.
The owners of Lewis Cottage are busy preparing to open their delightful garden to the public this weekend (29, 30 and 31 May) as part of the National Garden Scheme. The garden will open again on 27 and 28 June and, after a disappointing year when they couldn’t open at all, they are hoping to welcome back their regular visitors as well as plenty of new ones. But it is not just human visitors they are welcoming this year at Lewis Cottage, as Richard Orton reports.