A Gorgeous Garden Party
Gemma Rawlinson, from Helston had been intending to invite friends and neighbours around for a while when the idea of holding a Garden Party for the National Garden Scheme occurred to her and proved to be the perfect excuse.
“I have always enjoyed visiting gardens opening for the National Garden Scheme,” says Gemma. “It’s the thrill of seeing beyond the garden gate and coming home full of inspiration.”
So, in July, Gemma decided to open her own garden, have an afternoon tea party and in so doing, give something back to The National Garden Scheme beneficiary charities, such as Marie Curie, Macmillan and Parkinson’s UK.
“The National Garden Scheme was a great help with preparations”, says Gemma. “There were invitations to download, lots of practical suggestions and fundraising ideas. We just had to make the cakes, decorate the table and put the kettle on.” Everyone thoroughly enjoyed spending time in Gemma’s garden, especially appreciating the cut flower garden and admiring the newly planted trees. A total of £162 was raised by the generous guests who made donations and purchased bunches of flowers and raspberries.
Gemma’s top gardening tips for Autumn
Gemma runs her own cut flower business, Mellangoose Farm Flowers and her top tip for the Autumn is to sow hardy annuals in September/October. If you have access to a cold frame, porch with good natural light or an unheated greenhouse, Gemma reckons it’s a good idea to sow the first succession of seeds such as sweet peas, nigella, calendula and ammi majus to ensure early flowering the following Spring. Plants that have overwintered have vigorous root systems that send up strong, healthy stems once the light levels increase in Spring and they are also far less likely to be damaged by slugs. A second batch of the same hardy annuals can then be sown in February and March to ensure flowers all summer long.
Get involved and help raise funds for the National Garden Scheme
It’s not too late to get involved and host your own Great British Garden Party this summer. Every pound raised makes a real difference to the vital nursing and health charities supported by the National Garden Scheme.