Twenty six Marlborough gardens were on view to a worldwide audience for this year’s ‘Marlborough Open Gardens’, one of The Merchant’s House flagship events of the year.
The current crisis forced a rethink, changing the whole nature of the event which traditionally had allowed visitors to walk around up to twelve gardens in the town. The new ‘virtual’ event, now open to a far wider audience allows many more gardens to be presented for view – by anyone, anywhere, and at any time.
There was no single winner, rather a prize draw where all entries stood an even chance of winning a ‘Taste of Ramsbury’ hamper donated by Ramsbury Brewery. Marlborough’s new Mayor, Cllr Mark Cooper visited The Merchant’s House garden to make that draw, his first chance to take part in person at an event since being elected Town Mayor just over a month ago.
There were twenty six entries in the end, although the gardeners of Alma Place joined together as a single entry so the number of gardens actually on view numbered over thirty.
“It was a risk, we didn’t know what the level of interest would be but the number of entries far exceeded that which we had anticipated” said The Merchant’s House Events Manager, James Macbeth.
“We have been asked if we could run the virtual event alongside the physical event next year.” he added. “This is partly because people are able to enjoy the gardens in a different way – from the comfort of their own homes – whenever they wish and wherever in the world they are. Perhaps more significantly, we have attracted a number of participants who are happy to share photographs of their beautiful gardens, but aren’t happy to have the public walking around them. So there is definitely a place for both versions of the event.”
The hamper was won by David and Alison Hammond, their entry entitled “Down in the Flood Plain”.
The Merchant’s House were very pleased with how the event unfolded. “We have received a huge amount of positive feedback. Sharing pictures of our gardens has clearly given a lot of people a boost at this challenging time.” noted James.
James was also very keen to give thanks for the hamper, and also to Mayor Mark Cooper for being able to make the prize draw. “We are hugely grateful to Ramsbury Brewery for generously donating an exquisite “Taste of Ramsbury” hamper for the prize draw. The hamper generated a lot of interest and with a relatively small number of entrants in the draw, the chances of winning it were really quite good! Thanks also to the new Mayor for coming out on Father’s Day to kindly make the draw.”