42 Falconer Road, all a twinkle in Bushey. (88)

When I began my Ninety Garden Adventure back in January, I did not imagine that there would still be gardens opening in November. The entry in Gardens to View appeared encouraging if not a little intriguing especially with the opening time advertised as 4pm. I could not resist a visit on my circuitous route to London.

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The short description of course just acts as a guide; you really have no idea what lies behind. There was no garden gate and a few of us gathered outside, a little confused by the change of time from 4pm to 5pm. Owner Suzette answers our knock and expresses her dismay that it is not yet dark but invites us in through to the conservatory.
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I feel more like a guest than a visitor;  it reminds me of the 18th Century when garden visitors would apply to the property beforehand and then would often be shown around by the owner who acted rather as the host.
The orchids are beautiful in the conservatory and it is like entering an antique shop which then extends out into the garden.
DSCF6841.jpgI was grateful that I had arrived early because I could take advantage of the last of the natural daylight. While the family were setting up the illuminations, I wandered around absorbing the eclectic contents of this small and cunning space. Knick-knacks and plants clamber up the wooden steps;

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china jars are arranged on the small ornamental metal shelf set against the fence amongst the trailing ivy.

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In a corner area the myriad of bejewelled hangings dangle from the confusion of wisteria, and are accentuated by the mirrors behind.

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Bird cages are everywhere, either small and propped on posts surrounded by bamboo, hydrangea and richly-coloured acer,

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or simply upon the ground looking slightly oriental.

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This little collection is suspended gracefully together and is just starting to glow in the fading light.

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Small statues gather on the miniature bridge,

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and the old gardener’s boot is providing a convenient home for a succulent,

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Plants overflow from the old metallic watering can,

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nearby to the miniature ones arranged and “sedumed” on a glass-topped table.

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Carefully stepping through the paved garden there is so much to see. By the side of a rhododendron sits a rusty old stove,

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and the clock defies time with its hands set permanently at twenty three past twelve.

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Low walls are built with a collection of artifacts,

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and there is just room for a small hexagonal glasshouse.

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Having been absorbed by the myriad of cages, chimney pots and curios, I reach the end of the garden and retrace my steps to await the approaching darkness.

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Back inside I am able to admire the photographs displayed of the garden decked in its summer dressing, elegant and floriferous. Suzette generously opens over two weekends in July and August and has been doing so for the NGS for over 5 years.

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While I wait for the brightening of the lights outside, I gaze at the collection of bird cages hanging inside and wonder what the generic name for such a collector might be.

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Just outside the conservatory things are starting to glow, it is hard to distinguish the difference between light and lobelia.

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I knew this would be a tricky one to photograph but woh, I am not quite sure if it is a result of the mulled wine or inadequate equipment.

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Ah ha, it all become clearer as I switch to iPhone, and the garden takes on a warm and magical look.

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More visitors have arrived and the children ooh and aah as they gaze at the glitz and the glow.

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Bird cages flutter into light,

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making a pretty sequence throughout the garden,

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In the dark there is  a different atmosphere and some ornaments remain familiar whilst those previously unseen, appear in the show.

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The glasshouse retracts behind the twinkle of green lights,

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and looking back it is proof that gardens need not be necessarily just about plants and it is obvious the visitors are just loving this evening display.

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I return to the conservatory once more where just outside green lights dance around the naked stems of the wisteria,

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and inside it there is a warm glow.

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Suzette has shown such generosity. It has been a magical visit, something just a little bit different and entertaining for all ages. I can’t help thinking if we want to encourage the next generation into the garden we might all take a leaf out of Suzette’s book and be a little bit more imaginative in our gardens at night time.

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8 thoughts on “42 Falconer Road, all a twinkle in Bushey. (88)

  1. Most people don’t enjoy their garden at night enough. To have so many lights in the garden. This lady must be the most patient assiduous person to install all of those lights and candles. Truly a magical feel.

    Like

  2. What fun to ‘grow’ candles and entrance the next generation. For once, rain might be more of this gardener’s concern than weeds! Lovely concept.

    Like

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