Harwich Secret Gardens
This years Harwich Secret Gardens event was a fantastic success. Held over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of July residents and visitors to Harwich got to experience a side of Harwich known only to the very few. Residents opened up their gardens and the lucky visitors got to see inside old Harwich.
We really do have some talented and dedicated
gardeners among us who are clearly very proud of their garden space
and also good gardeners. The event was very well supported and the beautiful sunshine made the weekend special. I myself helped out with the guys from Quayside Court and I was pleasantly surprised as the huge number of visitors from far and wide. People had traveled especially for this event with a mixture of new faces and people returning every year.
A different view
What I particularly enjoy about the weekend is getting a different view of Harwich. It’s always lovely to walk the historic streets of Old Harwich and get a sense of history but when we’re invited into the gardens we see another part of the town that truly is a secret. I find it fascinating to see the architecture from a different perspective and we also get to see bits of history tucked away unseen. Many of the houses were once hostelries and shops and when we enter them we get a reminder of what was once a bustling trading port.
Visitors old and new
Many of the lovely people I got meet were past residents of Harwich who had returned for the weekend. They had previously had businesses here that sadly went into decline as the trade in the town started to fall away, and I got to hear how Harwich used to be, and a real sense of loss. But there was also hope in what they said and a belief I share, that Harwich will once again be the amazing place of old. We have so much history here, we must make the most of it and these events do exactly that and are so important for Harwich. But, I digress….
Back to the gardens
The gardens were all shapes and sizes but all had an abundance of colour and beauty. The layout of Old Harwich prescribed the character of the gardens with many in courtyards and other larger gardens laid to lawn. There is even a garden on the LV18 Lightship moored on the quayside proving you really can create something unique with an unconventional space.
For 2018 Harwich Secret Gardens raised over £3000.00 for local charities, which the gardeners should be proud of. Without their green-fingered generosity allowing us in we wouldn’t have this wonderful weekend.