|Stables and coach house, packing sheds and tractor shed at our Essex Regency home awaiting restoration!|
The gardens were planned to be minimal maintenance, with wide paved paths and a big mix of flowering shrubs and perennial border plants, and masses of ground cover ( a new feature in those days).
We decided to open the gardens and part of the house to groups every day during the summer season and keep it private to one coach party at a time, with a really good home-made cream tea. In no time, we were fully booked and the modest charges were a great help to pay for the labour we needed to complete our plans.
Our parties were mostly from outer London, female, and they enjoyed looking at 'real' bedrooms where my 3 daughters slept in the holidays, and there were many who knew a lot about handwork and embroidery. They were delightful groups, mostly W.I.s and over 60s and we did not have to advertise after the first season. They were able to buy plants similar to those seen in our gardens and I added my own marmalade and honey from my beehives to the sales table as everyone wanted to take something home!.
With all these modest enterprises, we were able to finance improvements over the years, and when we sold up 25 years later, the whole small estate was in excellent order and we were able to sell it well, and move to a Georgian house near Bath. (To be continued,see post BLOG BIOGRAPHY)