In 2013, hoping to operate a pilot scheme that would provide horticultural therapy for local adults with mental-health issues, Lindengate’s founders asked for a small plot on an underused allotment adjoining Wyevale Garden Centre near their homes in Wendover, Buckinghamshire. Instead the garden centre offered them the entire five-acre site. The site was waist high in thistles and brambles, broken greenhouses and sheds. 10 years on the weeds have gone, the sheds are repaired and painted and two huge polytunnels have been constructed and they have a yurt (which you can hire). The secret garden is now a stunning six-acre wildlife garden with a Heritage Orchard, Nature Reserve, Kitchen Gardens and two RHS Chelsea Gold Award Winning Exhibits based next to Dobbie’s Garden Centre.
Every year Lindegate supports over 2000 people through its nature-based wellbeing programmes, sessions and Open Garden visitors. It provides adult wellbeing sessions, programmes for schools, young people, anyone needing support with low to moderate mental health, as well as those living with dementia and memory loss and their carers. Alongside this it now has a dedicated staff team and over 200 volunteers, from horticultural experts to people who just want to get their hands dirty and meet new people.
The gardens continue to undergo transformations….
To celebrate Lindengate’s 10th anniversary, volunteers and staff are currently transforming part of the gardens into a brand-new Apothecary Garden. Yew Trees are now in place, with landscaping and planting due to commence shortly. The Apothecary Garden will contain herbs and flowers grown for their natural healing properties. The new garden will create a new space for visitors and participants to learn, work and relax. Next to the Heritage Orchard, they are creating a swale. Swales are a type of sustainable drainage system which slows run-off, intercepts and filters pollutants as well as helping natural infiltration into soil. They will enhance the swale habitat by planting and sowing wildflowers and other native wetland species. It will also provide shelter and food for invertebrates, birds and mammals. Both gardens should be completed by the end of April.
With spring in the air at Lindengate, new life is appearing across the site on a daily basis. The team, volunteers and programme participants have also been busy weeding and planting across the whole site in preparation for the summer months. The gardens are open to the public on Wednesdays 1.30-3.30pm and Saturdays 12.30-2.30pm.
Spring/ Early Summer Events
Lindengate are running a series of events to celebrate their 10th Anniversary which includes fundraising dinners and lunches at Chequers! More details can be found here : www.lindengate.org.uk/events/category/events
Three upcoming events for the public at the site include:
- Spring Open Gardens & Cream Teas: Saturday 21 May (2-4pm)
On Sunday 21 May 2023 there will be a spring open gardens and cream teas event at Lindengate. Free parking, a selection of fabulous handcrafted items, jams and chutneys, wildflowers and plants for sale and of course, tea and cake (and scones!).
- Sour Cherry Soup Play: Thursday 8 June (7pm start)
Chalk, Cherries & Chairs is an ambitious five-year scheme which aims to connect local people to the wildlife and cultural heritage of the Central Chilterns. The scheme operates under three themes – wildlife, heritage and people – but the projects which fall under these three themes are all designed with the Chilterns landscape in mind. As part of this project Lindengate are hosting the play ‘Sour Cherry Soup’ by Sarah Clifford. This one-person play will be performed in the Heritage Orchard. Venue opens at 5.30pm to allow you to enjoy the gardens, have a picnic or sit back and relax in the heritage orchard. Play starts at 7pm and lasts for around 45 minutes.
- Mikron Theatre Company: Wednesday 21 June (7pm start)
Mikron Theatre Company will be performing ‘Twitchers’ on the main lawn, with the audience bringing their own picnics (and chairs!). You’ll need your binoculars and camouflage coats! Doors will open at 5.30pm for everyone to come in with their own picnic and enjoy a walk round the garden. Performance starts at 7pm. £13 for children/ £15 for adults.
Open Gardens – New Times
Visit the award-winning unique secret garden with your friends and family. All are welcome. From Wednesday 19 April it will revert to summer opening times of:
- Wednesday to Fridays 11am-4pm
- Saturdays 11am-2.30pm
There is no admission charge, but there is a suggested £5 donation upon entry.
For more information on programmes, events, volunteer opportunities and opening times, go to www.lindengate.org.uk.