closeNB: This post was published 1 year 2 months 14 days ago and may now contain outdated or superseded information.

Well; it happened at last! Good weather and a magnificent turnout.

The  Gardens appear to be in excellent condition, given the neglect of earlier in the year; and although the Fruit and Wildlife gardens remain closed, the Children’s Garden has clearly been improved – with a new hazel ‘bender’ adding to the existing willow structures – and the other gardens are certainly all ‘up-to-par’; albeit with somewhat limited planting in some of the beds – no doubt due to the ‘late start’, caused by uncertainties and delays in the transfer of  management.

The new farm shop certainly has some interesting stock on display; a great deal of which (probably the majority) is ‘local’; including some very fine ice cream! Although possibly having less stock-lines presently than we had expected; we imagine that this side of the business will be expanding as time goes-on.

As to the ‘Bushel Box Café’ striving to be “the best in the UK!”; this unfortunately proved seriously lacking on opening-day, with  a wait of 45 minutes for three sandwiches! The new coffee machine seemed not to be living up to expectations, and the kitchen staff clearly could not keep-up with demand. No doubt many of these issues were due  to ‘teething problems’ and also to the large number of customers attracted by the opening day event. Certainly; a return visit to the café the next day (Sunday) found a less frenetic atmosphere, no significant delays and a slightly expanded menu.

Of course, our real concern – the re-branding, removing ‘Organic’ from the Gardens’ name remains an issue – especially as it is appears perfectly possible for the ‘casual’ visitor to the Gardens to not even see the word ‘organic’, and consequently, not to even consider the questions ‘Why?’, or ‘How?’. That is still an important point to us; but the new operators clearly have their reasons for this – and we can only hope that the organic aspects may become more prominent in time. There is certainly a stated ‘Green ethos’ on the operators’ part; although it is not presently that obvious. Fingers-crossed, for the future.

…and fingers-crossed too, for the whole new ‘Yalding Gardens’ venture – the new operators are certainly doing the right things and they have our support (for what that’s worth!) and we wish them every success.

Please click the photo below, for our gallery of photos from the opening day…

…and a first sight of the new Gardens’ ‘flyer’…

We would of course be delighted to hear of others’ experiences, for publication here – either by posting a comment on this blog item, or via the contact form.