GARDENERS and visitors were out in force in Fittleworth over the first May bank holiday weekend for the village’s 17th annual Open Garden Trail.
With 14 gardens open over Sunday and Monday, the trail gave everyone the chance to explore the picturesque area and with gardens of all sizes and styles on show, there was something for everyone.
Trail chairman Chris Leaver was extremely pleased with the results.
“Preliminary results indicate we have had more than 650 visitors this weekend, raising just over £5,000 for St Mary’s parish church in Fittleworth,” said Chris.
“As our main fundraiser, we cannot thank enough the committee for all their hard work, the garden-owners for putting in so much gardening beforehand to make them look so lovely, and of course, to all the wonderful visitors.
“They were very complimentary about the gardens and seemed to have had a wonderful time.”
Head gardener at Fittleworth House and committee member Mark Saunders was also very happy with the weekend: “The weather held wonderfully for us, not too hot, not too cold and all the gardens looked in great condition.
“It is a wonderful thing to be able to share a passion for gardening and plants with so many people and add to that the scent of wisteria, beautiful birdsong wherever you went and scrumptious cake and a cup of tea to boot.”
Fittleworth Playgroup served a record-breaking number of homemade lunches to visitors at the trail, dishing up more than 100 homemade lunches and 140 cups of tea.
Committee member Lydia Styles said: “Our customers enjoyed a healthy ploughman’s or quiche lunch in the sunshine and we managed to raise just over £320.”
All lunch proceeds were donated to the Fittleworth Playgroup and Baby Room, a charity-run group for children aged three months to five years.
For details see www.fittleworthplaygroup.co.uk
For more pictures, see this week’s Observer (May 8).