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NGS openings and the dangers of to-do lists

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 09 May 2011 at 01:22 PM


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I did something a little rash last week. I tried to cross something off my 'to-do list'.

You see, having wondered for a year or two whether to apply to open for the National Gardens Scheme, on Thursday I finally did something about it. As with all such important decisions, I didn't really give it much thought, just dropped an email.

"There," I thought.  "I've done my bit. They'll probably take an age to reply" and I put a line through "NGS?" on my to-do list with the smug flourish.

The call came about two hours later. The local organiser was in the area the next day and wondered if he could pop by.

So I had 24 hours. Well, that's a lie.  If you take into account the need to sleep, write, do school runs, feed and bathe children and generally run around after them, I actually had about three hours. And of course, the garden which had looked great in my mind a short while before, was perhaps a little less maintained than I thought.

My mother very helpfully confirmed this. "You might want to take out those dandelions that are seeding all over the place" was her sage advice. I also removed the thistles (one of which had actually reached thigh height which was almost impressive).

But against the odds we were ready, and even more surprisingly, the verdict was positive. I had been stealing myself for rejection - not least because this is very much a family garden, catering for children, and I wasn't sure how interesting that would be to the average NGS visitor.

So we're going to open, probably next May and maybe in half term to encourage more children and families to come. This lengthy wait is good as it gives me a year to perfect my baking skills (quality of cake it appears, is at least as imporant as the planting) and several months to listen to wiser and more experienced gardeners whose general feedback has been "Are you mad?".

In the meantime I am also rewriting my to-do list without 'Run marathon?' on it.  It's safer that way.



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