Gardening drought tips and owls among attractions at Edingthorpe’s Summer Sunday event

Plant lovers fretting over their parched perennials might care to call in at a north Norfolk village next weekend and pick up a few tips from an expert who never waters her garden.

Shirley Gilbert's cottage garden is among five which will be open next Sunday, June 12, in Edingthorpe as part of a village extravaganza of events which also includes the chance to view nesting barn owls live, via a camera linked to a TV screen.

Ms Gilbert's quarter-acre garden is packed with drought-resistant plants which are kept healthy because she enriches her free-draining sandy soil with homemade organic compost.

'I never water - I don't have the time,' said Ms Gilbert, who also runs gardening workshops and whose garden is part of the National Gardens Scheme.

Money raised during Edingthorpe Summer Sunday will go towards the upkeep of the thatched, Saxon round-tower All Saints Parish Church; the only public building in the village, near North Walsham.

'I don't how we do it, but in our tiny village of about 80 houses, with a very small group of hard working fundraisers, who can at any time call upon our neighbours to help raise funds for our splendid little church on the hill, we manage to raise money to keep our church open,' said Jan Withers, churchwarden and fund-raising chairman of the church.

'All Saints is kept open 24/7 and it is amazing the number of folk who visit us. We have nothing left to steal - it has all been taken - so we just leave the doors open!' she added.

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Visitors will also be able to call in at Honeytop Cottage where Mike Ward has rigged up a camera and screen to watch a pair of barn owls who are nesting in a box set up in a nearby tree. He's hoping the female may have laid an egg or two by the weekend.

The event will also include sculpture demonstrations, plant sales, walks along country lanes and ancient footpaths, and working crafts in the church, where there will also be locally-sourced refreshments.

Those less able to walk can make use of a courtesy bus around the village where traffic will be controlled by volunteers from the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club.

Gardens are open from 11am to 5pm. Tickets cost �3.50, children free.

* Profits from a four-mile run due to take place in Edingthorpe today were being shared between the church and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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