Open Day at Abi & Tom’s

I would first like to say thank you to all of you for the comments on my previous post. They meant a lot to me, as does the Liebster award which I will get around to doing something about soon – promise! I also apparently have exceeded 50 followers so I’m planning something to mark that too.

I hesitate to say it but several times this week I have not only been not depressed but I have actually approached being happy. Anyway, to matters horticultural – below is what I got up to on Sunday.

On Sunday 17th Abi and Tom’s garden plants, where my wife Susan works, hosted a charity open day.

Abi and Tom’s is a really special place. In addition to Susan, they have a crew of ladies who work there on a voluntary basis, just because it is so nice and Abi & Tom and their two little girls are so lovely. As well as this, on the open days all those ladies husbands (and some of their kids) also come and help out. Some manage the car parking, another was taking pictures for the Facebook page and I was dividing and repotting plants. On this occasion I was able to wear the official uniform. I was honoured but I kept getting asked for gardening advice, I think I managed to help everyone or point them in the right direction.

There were lots of other activities on site. Artist Fiona Clucas was painting, Phil Lusby from RBG Edinburgh was visiting with his collection of obscure and antique gardening tools, there was a florist, a basket maker, a blacksmith and two wood-workers.

Abi and some of the lady volunteers had baked lots of home-made cakes to sell for the charity, and I donated any sales of my greetings cards for the day. Abi’s carrot and pecan cake was fantastic!

The day before (Saturday) a little boy called Luke had been in with his mum and granny. Susan got talking to him and he is madly interested in plants and the natural world and is building a collection of cacti and alpines at home (basically he is me when I was his age!). It wasn’t the open day but Susan gave him a personal guided tour around the non-public parts of the nursery and asked him to come back the next day for the open day. That evening I put together a box of spare plants from my own collection. Sadly Luke was not able to come to open day but his mum popped in and was delighted to receive this gift for Luke. I want to do everything I can to encourage youngsters like Luke but I am not good with kids so this was the ideal outcome for me.

Abi & Tom’s is also the home of our little four-legged friend Molly. She was locked into the verandah during the day to prevent her scrounging too much cake from the visitors but she was allowed out for the evening (where she just scrounged barbecue instead). She knows that the best place to wait is near little Rowan’s high chair as Rowan is still at the age where she drops more food than she manages to eat. Little of it reached the floor thanks to Molly!

Speaking of the evening, Abi & Tom thanked the volunteers by arranging for us all to stay for a barbecue on site after closing. As anyone in the UK knows, this is fatal for the weather and, surely enough, it then rained for the first time all day! But – it was a still nice evening anyway thanks to the under-cover seating!  I also got a lovely message from a treasured blogging friend. A good day all round.


There are some pictures below.

The last one is myself, taken by Susan. I call it ‘Portrait of beardy old bloke in need of haircut’

Plants for Luke
Nursery view
The Red Shed
Phil Lusby
Big tunnel
New tunnel
Fiona Clucas
Aster with Peacock butterfly
Red Admiral butterfly
Old Beardy Bloke in Need of Haircut



  1. Apart from the rain, it sounds like the day went pretty well Darren. I’m glad you had a good time. So nice of you to think of this young boy, Luke, and to encourage him in his hobby. The beard looks good on you. Have a great day my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. 🙂
          I knew you meant the hair!

          I suddenly find myself in a world where beautiful women pay me compliments. I LIKE it here 🙂

          My hair is definitely getting too long. The back is starting to look like an 80s mullet. Like Lethal Weapon era Mel Gibson but without the looks, charisma or money. And the front will soon be at the point where I can’t see where I’m going!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That sounds like such a fun day! What a sweet thing to do, bring up those plants for Luke. 🙂 I imagine being out in the sun all day with the flowers, nice people and sunshine felt wonderful. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you! There is another allergy medicine we can try. We’ve been trying to exhaust all other options first because it costs $70 a month. His food costs $70 as well. But, if he really needs it we will definitely get it for him. It seems we might be to that point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is lovely. I once had that dream too but, just like the ones involving Isabelle Adjani, it was never destined to come true! However, I like Abi and Tom and their team very much and am happy to assist them fulfil the dream even if it is too late for me. They have been so good for Susan, who was not in a good place when she first approached them. I am very envious of Susan working there most days, but not so much when it is cold and wet outside and I have a nice warm office instead.


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