As Sunday 3rd June 2012 dawned it was clear that the weather forecasters had got it right and that both the Queen on her Thames barge and the hard working open gardeners of Boxford would be disappointed. The rain which started as a dreary drizzle turned into a constant downpour by the end of the afternoon.
However, were we downhearted? Certainly not! Although the Union Jack bunting hung a little limply at times, the open gardens looked fresh and beautifully green, rather than sun-baked and gasping. Many of the gardens featured stunning irises which this year seem to have benefited from the alternating weather conditions of extreme rain followed by extreme sun. Although many roses and peonies refused to open their tightly packed buds, the aquilegias were still standing tall and resolute against the elements and hardy geraniums such as Geranium phaeum were massive specimens. Oriental poppies dared to unfurl their papery petals and colourful lupins stood cheerfully to attention.
Visitors came from as far afield as Clacton and, in true British jubilee spirit, they were determined not to let the rain spoil their enjoyment of the gardens. The village hall fed a constant stream of bedraggled visitors with coffee, ploughman's lunches and cream teas whilst two outlying gardens provided visiors with welcome mugs of tea and slices of cake.
All in all, the day was a great success in spite of the weather and our 24 open gardens received some well earned compliments. We had over 250 visitors and raised over £2,600 for Boxford St Mary's Church.
Many thanks to all who opened their gardens or who helped in any way and of course to our intrepid visitors who braved the rain to view Boxford's beautiful gardens.