All went swimmingly until I tripped over the kitchen step while running into the house to answer the phone. I was taking off my gardening gloves as I ran, and I fell on my left hand, which was clutching my gloves. At first I thought I'd bruised a rib, but when I asked the local pharmacist for advice about painkillers, she said it sounded like an intercostal strain, or even a torn muscle.
Great! And I'd just started getting a cold. Sneezing or coughing was going to be a whole heap of fun.
The Open Gardens event raises money for the village hall, so to be asked to take part is not only a huge compliment but also a practical way of helping to sustain community life. I was determined to go ahead with the garden opening, but the way I was feeling (and I was feeling very sorry for myself), how was that going to happen?
Luckily, my new next-door neighbours came to the rescue. Neil is a professional gardener, who for the past few years has worked with Stephen Crisp, head gardener at Winfield House, the residence of the US Ambassador to London.
Neil's partner Anthony is also a keen and knowledgeable gardener, while Stephen himself was coming to stay with them for the weekend. Between them, they managed to turn the mess that is my garden into something approaching respectability.
Anthony mowed the lawn...
Neil cleaned and weeded the terrace ...
And in between bites of chocolate cake, Stephen helped Neil clean up and rearrange all my pots and furniture into a far more pleasing arrangement.
My daughter helped too, fishing the gunk out of the pond. However, gardening is not really her thing, so she cleaned the house instead. There's nothing to beat a tidy, sparkling kitchen.
This picture of Rufus pretty much sums up how I feel right now, so I'll wait until tomorrow before posting photographs of the garden.