As gates to gardens in Ovacık opened at 1pm on Sunday, 1st May the heavens also opened and it rained quite steadily for the first hour.

Whilst rain is always good news for gardens, it is not appreciated by people and, as a result of the downpour, the afternoon raised 330TL and a lot of people went home with cakes!

Before we show you what you missed in terms of gardens, we must thank everyone who volunteered on the day, all the generous people who baked cakes, Yüsüf and his staff from Nil Garden Centre in Göcek and all those who bought tickets and, of course, the comparatively small group of people who bravely got out their umbrellas and came to see the gardens despite the weather.

Our first photo shows some of the colourful plants brought from Göcek for sale on the day.

The ‘headquarters’ for the day was Villa Lavanta where refreshments and plants were sold in what is actually a lovely garden featuring, alongside lots of pockets of mature planting, an unusual two-storey şark köşesi (traditional Turkish cushion platform).

As you can see from the photo, the jasmine on the structure was in full flower and smelling gorgeous. The planting in this garden lies along the margins of a large central space with pool, bar, and other seating areas beneath built canopies for shade.

It is one of the oldest gardens we know with initial planting dating back 9 years. And the builders left two ancient trees in situ – you can see one of them behind the şark köşesi to the right.

And here is the other now surrounded by a stone seat which is also traditionally Turkish in its basic design.

So if you didn’t get to Open Gardens’ Day you’ll see the other gardens in future articles – keep logging on.