When I posted a few pictures of Wednesday’s open evening on Facebook yesterday; I included the words “Mixed thoughts – mixed emotions”. Further consideration only strengthens that view; one wants to concentrate on the here and now and the future – but history is the only absolute – and that upon which all opinion is based. So please allow me to refer to the past, as it is relevant.
This is the third time I have written of the re-opening of the Gardens – each time from a position of having no information “from the horse’s mouth”. (It seems endemic that new operators of the Gardens have no discourse with the “Friends” of same.) Therefore, one can only comment on what one sees…
…and what one does see, is a truly magnificent wedding venue. Clearly there has been considerable investment and effort put into the conversion of the site. The Gardens, although of course showing signs of the recent decay, are back on the road to glory – even the long-abandoned ‘Garden for Today’ has been brought back into service. A good many of the ‘old’ features remain; some perhaps out of context without interpretation and new areas and buildings are being introduced – some of which feel to have more to do with providing picturesque backdrops for photos of the happy couple, than anything else.
…and of course there is nothing wrong with that. That is what the Gardens are now about and it is that upon which their future will depend. I know little or nothing of the wedding business; but what I see looks pretty good (except that awful plastic grass!) I can only wish the new owners every success with ‘the Gardens’.
I hope that in time the new owners will fulfil their obligation (that I assume they have) to do at least something to promote organic horticulture – which is of course the whole reason for the Gardens existing in the first place. I do however appreciate that organics don’t necessarilly put wedding guests’ ‘bums on seats’ and that doing so would be difficult from their current non-organic stance It would also be good to know what if any plans there are for public access.
With the sale of the site ‘Yalding Organic Gardens’ are unfortunately now a thing of the past. ‘the Gardens’ succeed to their throne. There still remain a number of questions to be answered, by others; the most interesting of which being how the original site owners, the Congelow Trust, now plan to spend the considerable sum of money they have, on promoting organic horticulture…
“the Gardens” April 2016
…and for nostalgia’s sake. From 2011 and before…
“the Gardens” website can be found here