… and usually we’d be looking forward to serving hundreds of slices of sponge cake and endless pots of tea on our café terrace. But this year, it was felt it wouldn’t be safe or fair to ask our volunteers to work shoulder-to-shoulder to feed the hoards. So the café will close at 12 noon on Saturday and remains closed as usual on Sunday. However, garden visitors should not despair. Ilmington Community Shop will be open as usual, with lots of items to make the perfect picnic: deli meats, pork pies, ice creams, crisps and drinks – and cake, of course: there’s always cake. So why not bring your picnic blanket and spill out over the village green? The gardens will be glorious after all the rain we’ve had. You can buy tickets at the gate, but you may need to book online for smaller gardens: check the National Garden Scheme website ngs.org.uk for details. Ilmington gardens will be open from 12.30 to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. And, fingers crossed, we will open our community café doors next year!