“WE have never had so many cars on the recreation ground” was how Nick Whines described the record crowd - more than a thousand - who flocked to Froyle on June 2-3 for the annual open gardens day when nine of the loveliest village gardens were on view.

Mr Whines, who this year took over as organiser from Brenda Millar, said it was a record for the event as it was the most visitors they had ever had for the open gardens, and as a result more than £10,000 was raised for the National Gardens Scheme charity.

His was one of the gardens on show, with his sweet peas a particular highlight, and there was a mix of large and small gardens with a mass of beautiful flowers, including wild flowers, water features, plus a variety of vegetables.

Susie Robertson and her team were kept busy serving teas and homemade cakes in the village hall, Maureen Fry was in charge of the tickets, and Charlie Findley did his usual fine job of managing the car parking.

As an added bonus, beautiful 18th Century embroidered European church vestments were on show in the church where organiser Madeleine Black welcomed visitors. The vestments were a gift from Sir Hubert Miller, who was the first to open his Froyle garden in 1930.

The village’s new playground, which was opened last year, also proved popular with the children who had fun on the the zipwire and climbing frame.

As it was his first year as organiser, Mr Whines said how pleased he was with the record crowd.

“The most we have ever had and it was a brilliant day and a real community effort which all the village joined in,” he said.

“We are also pleased with how much we raised for the National Gardens Scheme, which helps so many other charities.”