In the last 20 years, Badgers Holt has become the most popular private Open Garden in Jersey.
Adults and Children
Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times especially near the pond.
Ease of access.
There is ample car parking adjacent to the garden, wheelchair access could not be easier and all pathways are flat, except one that takes you behind the waterfall, which has a gentle incline.
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From the past
From 1997, when we had three open gardens, to 2002, when we had six open gardens, it is estimated that at least four and a half thousand adults plus children in total have visited our garden on Open Garden Days. Between two and four hundred visitors could be expected on a fair day.
Due to enormous demand from hard working charity fund raising organizations, we have decided to have eight open gardens during 2003. These include The Brook Hospital (for horses), Hospice (Lymphodoema), Friends of the Animal Shelter, Friends of the Maritime Museum, Sands (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) and The Jersey Society for the Disabled. The Family Nursing Association and The Association of Girl Guides are considering having open gardens here.
We usually have open gardens for fund raising on Sundays, when helpers are willing to give their time. Many of the organizations have been fund raising for quite a few years and are very well organized. They are able to call on half a dozen or so helpers who will undertake duties, such as setting out tables, putting advertising posters up and collecting entry money at the gate (normally £2.00 children free). At the planning stage the organizers will have decided whether they will have a BBQ or cream teas or whatever.
I make a point of not being involved. An example of a theme was the 1920's era, which was very popular last year. We will have to see what ideas come along this year. Garden tables and chairs are set out on the lawn and refreshments are served from the conservatory.
In the past, the open garden organizers have had a variety of attractions for their visitors, such as face painting, pony rides, bouncy castles, BBQs, pétanque, boules, find the treasure, plant sales and many others .
The Open Garden days are organized entirely by the fund raising committees of the charities concerned. They advertise the event and organize the catering, the car parking and, most important, the fund raising. They use part of the garden where tables are set up for serving refreshments.
Refreshments vary with each fund raising committee. There might be cream teas or it could be a BBQ. Often enough they have a theme, 1920's era is an example.
Accompanied by adults, school children and other similar groups will be made more than welcome when visiting the garden. It has always been an attraction for youngsters in their education, with the Aviary, the Pond and the flowers and bushes.
The garden is very accessible to everyone, whether able or disabled.
Artists and painters are also welcome. I think they would find the garden
an interesting subject to paint.
Professional photographers use the garden for wedding groups
I never forget the happy, smiling faces of the older visitors, especially that of one elderly lady of ninety-nine, who came with me around the garden. I was a little concerned when she stopped for a second, turned around and, smiling with a naughty twinkle in her eye, said: "Let us wait for the old ones. They cannot keep up."
Just recently, we had the pleasure of a hundred years old lady visiting the garden. She walked around unaided.
To be continued ....
All photographs below were taken by Reg are of past events
Please click on them to enlarge
An Open Garden at Badgers Holt is certainly an experience not to be missed.
I started having open gardens exactly one year after laying and planting out the garden. The idea came from friends who thought our garden would be appreciated by others. I knew absolutely nothing about open gardens as I had never been to one.
The first open garden was a huge success and I just could not believe that there would be so much interest in gardening. I was told that I had struct the right balance and it was interesting for people of all ages, which gave us a lot of encouragement
I suppose having the right balance is having a car park adjacent to the garden, accommodating up to two hundred cars with easy access for disabled persons, as there are no steps to be negotiated . There are hundreds of trees, bushes and plants for visitors to identify. Many plants are perfumed and, much to my surprise, visitors of all ages are absolutely fascinated with the many types of colourful birds in the aviary.
There are pathways throughout the garden leading the visitors to different areas. The main pathway will take you right around the pond and under the flowering covered tunnel behind the waterfall. Another will take you into the rose garden.
Jersey Tourism are interested in developing the horticultural side of tourism. Visitors to Jersey are now invited to visit private gardens, normally by appointment. A scheme started a couple of years ago is proving very successful. We have small groups of visitors to the garden such as those organised by a travel agent from the UK. They pay us several visits a year and they are all keen and very enthusiastic gardeners. We often have school parties of twenty or thirty children. The garden with the pond and fish and especially the aviary are a great attraction and extremely educational.
Occasionally we have groups from retirement homes, both able and disabled. They look forward to their outings.
Badgers Holt is a working Garden. There is always something going on in the garden or in the aviary.