Out There column

An ornamental pond in one of the gardens on show in Caton.
An ornamental pond in one of the gardens on show in Caton.
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There are some weekends when everything just seems to go right. We’ve just had one such weekend.

In my circle of family and friends two of the biggest events of the year have taken place.

Mark on the prom at the kite festival on Sunday.

Mark on the prom at the kite festival on Sunday.

One was the Catch the Wind Kite Festival in Morecambe which attracted record numbers of visitors and the other (on our doorstep in Caton) was an Open Gardens weekend.

More Music organises the kite festival every year and, speaking as one of the trustees of the charity, it was marvellous to see so many people out on the prom having a great time. We were extremely lucky with the weather and all of the festival venues – the prom, the beach and outside and inside The Platform - were packed.

It reminded me of the glory days of Morecambe as a venue for large outdoor events. In less cash-strapped times (the ‘90s and early noughties) Morecambe was dubbed ‘The Festivals Capital of the North West’.

When the sun is shining Morecambe is a perfect location for festivals and there is nothing quite as pleasurable as listening to great bands playing in the open air, feeling the friendly vibes and admiring that fabulous view across the bay.

At Sunday’s event I even spotted a rising megastar of the music world playing with Baybeat’s percussion section.

Joe Kondras, drummer of The Heartbreaks, was swinging his glossy bob to the beat. The Heartbreaks recently released their album We May Yet Stand a Chance. Nice to see Joe goes back to his roots from time to time.

Over in Caton visitors were flocking to the open gardens on Saturday and Sunday. My husband Mark (Sparky) came along for the day. He thoroughly enjoyed it even though he pretends to detest visiting gardens.

I was particularly keen to pick up advice on growing vegetables in raised beds as we have some in our garden. We were also delighted to see several wildlife ponds full of frogs.

Maggie Lightfoot’s garden – a haven for wildlife – set my imagination on fire. She had a large pond, fruit trees, a ‘secret garden’, wild areas, raised beds, a yurt with a woodburning stove and ornamental beds.

Now there’s something to aspire to.