Chinnor Open Gardens
One of our neighbours and friends popped past with her spaniels earlier that week "Are you coming to the Open Gardens?!" She asked, then pointed at a poster that was pinned to a pole just meters from the house.
Completely embarrassed that we had been too busy to pay attention to our surroundings, I opened my laptop, put on a motivational soundtrack and wiped my WISP to-do list clear that night to free the days ahead.
Our family had stayed the night before, we had sipped G&Ts late into the night. After a hearty breakfast fry up and farewell, we headed out into the Village.
We picked up a ticket to the open gardens, with a map of the gardens open and available for perusing around the village.
The first house on the list was a huge place right in the centre of the village, it has a beautiful big glass side extension that can be seen from the road. We walked up the garden path into the back of the garden... and just kept on walking... and walking... it was huge!
At the bottom of the garden - in the centre of the village, was a small paddock of cows! Gorgeous old breed cows!
Now, I'm envious of my mothers family who were all pretty unique in that all seven members of her family were born in different African countries. I'm not envious of the locations - I was born abroad too. I'm envious of their pets, my uncle Charles had a monkey who he still attests was the only person that truly understood him, my aunt kept loads of little chameleons, and my mum had a pet cow who was allowed to hang out in the kitchen!
Anyway, I got way too excited. Moo-ving on...
The gardens were lovely but I didn't feel entirely comfortable photographing them, even with permission from the owners, but the artists and artisans at work at many of the locations were fantastic.
This gent had whittled a whole lot of bowls from local trees!
He took time to talk us through the different woods available, and planted a seed of idea that a great table idea could be a slice of a huge local tree.
We continued through to the next location. The Church was a center for all action going on.
Most weeks you will find that there has been some yarn bombing going on. It's all so lovely, with knitted treats left tied to lamposts, wrapped around trees, pinned to the base of signs.
We followed the bunting to the entrance of the church...
...where we found stalls laden with cakes and plants for sale!
After filling my basket with treats we made our way inside where the church had been decorated with armsfulls of fresh flowers and beautiful displays.
The village is quite sprawling, and the final open garden on our stop was stunning. Our friend, an excellent basket weaver was showcasing her work.
Now, how many baskets can a girl rightfully have? Christine also works at Bridewell Gardens which is a mental health recovery gardening initiative. Proceeds from plants sold at this open garden went to the charity and after learning about the great work carried out by Bridewell we've bookmarked their next open gardens.
...I also couldn't resist signing up to one of Christine's weaving classes in the village... and just a few more plants!
Arms full of baskets, cakes, little plants and weaved frames, we trundled home, chatting about which properties inspired us most and ideas that we took away from the beautiful homes that opened their gardens to us.
With the evening sun still high, we popped the kettle on and indulged in a little cake...