Leisure

Gardens Thrown Open

Each year, the National Gardens Scheme sees a host of privately owned gardens open to the public to raise money for charity. And it’s not restricted to large, landscaped affairs – cottage gardens and unpretentious plots participate too.

There’s nothing more inspiring, for anyone with an interest in gardening, than taking a walk around other people’s gardens. And the beauty of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) is that it gives us the chance to look at what can be done in ‘ordinary’ gardens.

While there are some impressively large plots that the public can visit, it’s also a chance to see smaller, privately-owned gardens that don’t usually open to the public, giving us some great ideas about what to do with our own gardens.

The NGS not only gives garden enthusiasts a chance to have a nosy around otherwise private gardens, it also does a great job raising funds for a number of very worthy charities. Last year, its 90th anniversary, it donated £3m to charities including MacMillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and the National Autistic Society to name just a few.

More than 3,600 gardens across Britain opened to the public last year as part of the scheme and this year there are even more. All summer, owners will be opening their gates, engaging with visitors and serving cake and other refreshments as well as selling home-grown plants.

Make a date in your diary to pay a visit to a few of the gardens opening locally, enjoy a lovely afternoon out, treat yourself to a piece of homemade cake – and do your bit for charity.

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