How it all started
Early in the 2000’s a group of Mums, fairly new to the village, bonded in the school playground over their love of gardening.
A chance visit to a nearby village’s open gardens event inspired them to see if there was enthusiasm in their village of Grayshott to stage something similar.
And so, with the help of the school grapevine, the local gardening club and the village website newsfeed, the ‘Hidden Gardens of Grayshott – private gardens open for public viewing’ germinated.
Grayshott is a village that has always organised plenty of community events – the annual Panto in the village hall, the Party in Grayshott on the village green, the November fireworks on the sports field to name but a few, so the idea to add to the list of successful events, but with gardens and gardening at its heart, appealed to the community as a complimentary addition.
With the organisers in the nearby village of Bramshott giving freely of their advice on how to go about staging an open gardens event, the team of five, ably assisted by a strong band of volunteers, staged the first event in the middle of June 2005.
Vanessa Thompson says “I can remember opening the garden gate at midday and waiting nervously for what seemed like an age wondering if anyone would come………………..and then they did………….in their hundreds!”
Plant sales in 2005
That first event raised £3000 which was distributed between the two village churches, the Village Hall and the Parish Council, with the proviso that the funds be used to enhance and improve community planted areas.
Today, the event remains pretty much the same as the original. Staged every other year Grayshott welcomes over 1000 visitors to the event come rain or shine.
Hundreds of cups of tea and portions of cake are consumed, pots and pots of home grown plants wend their way to gardens new and the band of over 100 volunteers and garden owners, who help make this event happen, collapse wearily at the end vowing never to do it again – but then always do!