Our First Open Day


Last night I had several attempts at photographing Jackie’s garden solar lights. She had one preference; I had another.

Garden fairy lights 1Garden fairy lights 2

Only the brave need indicate their favourite.

Knowing the weather would soon change, I took advantage of the early sunshine to wander around the garden and take a few pictures.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

On the front trellis clematis Mrs N. Thompson has joined solanum;

Asiatic lilies and petunias

on the edge of the patio fragrant Asiatic lilies blend with petunias;

Bees in poppy

and poppy plunderers have hind legs like Popeye’s forearms.

We were joined for lunch by Jackie’s two sisters, their husbands, and cousins Pat, Christine, and Olivia.


Jackie laid out the buffet food she had prepared yesterday on the table,

Mushroom soup

and cooked a marvellous mushroom soup.

After several platefuls, and a fairly wide variety of alcoholic beverages, the sun having emerged after rain, we had a tour of the garden.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, Olivia, Christine, Helen

Our guests trooped from the patio past the kitchen;

Pat and Shelly

admired the wisteria pergola;

Gazebo, Helen and PatOlivia, Christine, Pat and Shelly

and took the Gazebo Path.


Shelly brought her coffee with her.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, OliviaPat, Shelly, Jackie, Helen, Olivia and Christine

Passing Florence at Fiveways

Helen, Shelly, Jackie, and Pat

Jackie, Christine, Shelly, Pat, and Helen

Christine, Pat, Jackie, Olivia, Shelly, Helen

the group admired the Rose Garden;

Helen, Olivia, Christine

on her return along the Brick Path Helen paused to savour the scent of Wedding Day.

It seems reasonable to consider this our first Open Day.

Christine and Olivia left early in the evening. Helen, Bill, Shelly and Ron remained a while longer, and Pat stayed the night. ( Actually, I took a chance in posting this before Helen and Bill departed. They also stayed the night ).

We all had a second go at the buffet and beverages.



  1. You’re open!? I’m down for a family weeding in early August. It’s in Christchurch. I wonder if we can fix a time with the management to see if you are open?!!

  2. Nice to see people enjoying the garden. The banquet with view gets my vote. If I must choose between the lights, I think the ‘sperm’ one is swimming. 🙂

      1. Oh, what a giveaway! I was going to be diplomatic and suggest a viewing with the naked eye might be the best option.

  3. Both of the opening photos are lovely – but of course I have my favourite 🙂 Do I see a combined B&B and Garden Tours in your future? [Don’t tell Jackie I said that].

  4. Lovely photos–I love the table laden with delicious looking food in front of the window. It does look like a wonderful B&B. 🙂 The mushroom soup looks yummy, too. I’m sure your guests enjoyed the food and the garden.

  5. Lovely photos; I preferred the second of the two solar light shots; if that is not your wife’s favourite, my apologies.

  6. For showing what it actually looks like – the first one.
    For art – the second.

    1. I agree with your choice entirely, I chose the first one as I thought it looked more realistic there was one that was just a mass of dots and didn’t give the right effect. Could they have been taken as the evening(and the wine intake) progressed?

      1. LOL! By the way, when you blogged that you were expecting guests, Ian and I got all territorial – “Who have they got visiting that we don’t know about?!” “What is the meaning of this?!” etc. We couldn’t wait to jump on and find out. We did laugh at our ridiculousness. All jealous like. ?

  7. All I can say is Wow!
    (and that Asiatic lily is divine. I’ve got a photo of one somewhere in my archives and didn’t know what it was called).

  8. At the risk of making myself unpopular (again), the second photograph (the one of the spermatozoa frantically swimming) is indeed the superior of the two.

  9. An excellent idea to share your gardening skills and ideas with others. Perhaps you could do this on a seasonal basis and maybe show people what needs to be done in their own gardens in, say, late autumn, or early spring?

  10. Both photos of the solar lights are my favorite! Derrick, a lovely post as usual, I always enjoy visiting! Have a happy day my friend! 🙂

  11. Your first open day was a great success, and the buffet was fabulous. My preference is the first picture because of the many details. Good for meditation 😉

  12. Great to see everyone enjoying the garden – it was fun to see all wander through the garden taking the beautiful flowers and designed pathways in Derrick. Last photograph says it all! Awesome buffett Jackie!

      1. Derrick, have you ever considered doing a walking video of your garden to post on your blog. Would love to see the garden through yours and Jackie’s eyes as you take us through that beautiful place.

  13. What a sumptuous feast! I especially love the sound of the mushroom soup. 🙂 Your garden must have been much admired. I had to smile at Geoff’s comment, saying he’s coming down for a “family weeding”. Jackie will definitely make use of him. 🙂

      1. You are kindly welcome, my friend!Looking forward to reading more of your posts. I have come to appreciate you immensely. Thank you for your ongoing support and friendship!

  14. I can definitely see the appeal of the second picture! 😀 Your garden is beautiful – your guests must have loved exploring it.

  15. Lovely pics as usual. I prefer the second lights shot. The B&B suggestion sounds fantastic and I sure would love a tour of that garden, food provided or not 🙂

  16. The buffet looks super delectable, my compliments to Chef Jackie!
    I would treasure homemade mushroom soup! The troupe of family members circling around the garden made me smile. Nothing better than loved ones showing their interest in what takes such an incredible amount of time to tend to, Derrick (and Head Gardener Jackie.) Hugs, Robin xo

  17. It is always a pleasure to tour your beautiful garden and it’s wonderful to see all the planning and hard work being appreciated by your guests.

  18. Unless I’ve miscounted, that’s about 8 people off Jackie’s Xmas card list, against only 4 off Derrick’s. You’ll note I didn’t pass comment on the relative merits of the photographs.

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