DESPITE the searing heat, Penny Disbury’s charity garden party at The Piggery in Bordesley near Alvechurch last weekend has been hailed a huge success, writes Judy Lawrance.

Once a year Penny opens her garden to the public for charity, supporting Cancer Research UK (Breast Cancer), Dementia UK, and Help For Heroes.

"We thought the extremely high temperatures would put lots of people off, but on the contrary, they came in their droves,” said Penny.

"It was a record-breaking weekend, we served around 300 cream teas over four days.”

Although during normal times Penny takes care of the sprawling gardens alone, a week before and during the event she enlists the help of family and friends.

Her garden is spread over three acres and includes deep herbaceous borders, punctuated with her favourite flowers, delphiniums, their tall spires dominating the landscape.

There’s also a huge vegetable garden, a wood, providing some welcome shade and lots of nooks and crannies scattered with unusual planters teaming with petunias and trailing bedding plants.

Then immediately behind her bungalow, a cosy terrace full of plant pots filled to overflowing with plants in every shade of pink.

Even the driveway had its uses – the garage housed the tea making facilities and was a hive of activity throughout the whole of the opening times.

Within the price of the entrance fee, each visitor was served a substantial cream tea, home-made by Penny and her friends.

The china cups and saucers, teapots and cake-stands adding to the quintessentially English garden party.

Penny, who started opening her garden for charity five years ago, said: “It’s gone from strength to strength as lots of visitors come year after year and tell their friends about us.

"That, together with local advertising and notices sent to local flower clubs, has, I believe, swelled the numbers this year.”