In Maastricht, Andre Rieu returned home for his summer concert in the Vrijthof. He fills the plaza, as always, with an immense stage, a vast troupe of singers, rich orchestral stylings, and, of course, participatory Viennese waltzes. The weather looks awful, but it never seems to dampen the crowd’s spirits.
The weather is windy and rainy in our little village outside of Cambridge as well, but it similarly fails to dampen the enthusiasm of Barrington’s residents for their annual Village Open Gardens Weekend. Over 20 houses have readied their back yards for tea, cakes, and hours strolling among the roses and foxglove. These refuges are expertly conceived and lovingly executed: English cottage gardens, Mediterranean dry gardens, pond gardens, and natural gardens. Each is attended by a homeowner armed with guidebooks and advice, generally bent in conversation with attendees seeking information and tips. Cakes are donated by village residents, with the money going to repair the church.
It’s nice to be out meeting the neighbors, understanding the various styles and combinations and appreciating all the work that goes into the displays. I hadn’t realized the number of artists and musicians living in the village among the retired teachers and engineers. Their original sculptures accent many of the gardens, catching the light or highlighting a bed. Some have posted their personal story or objectives in creating the garden, sometimes how plants originated from their travels.
‘More pictures at my Flickr site.
Aside: when the clouds start to move in, there’s often a sudden light shift in breeze and drop in temperature. It never fails to catch the attention of British gardeners, who look skyward in unison and murmur about how the weather is about to change. I attribute it to their maritime heritage, a sailor’s acute sense of conditions. But it is unique.