Sunnyside Rural Trust Trail with the National Garden Scheme

Living Magazines Sunnyside Northchurch

Sunnyside Rural Trust’s three 6-acre gardens in Hemel Hempstead, Northchurch and Berkhamsted will open for the National Garden Scheme for the first time in 2023, as a group on Saturday 13 May, 11am-4pm. Sunnyside Rural Trust is a therapeutic horticultural charity and social enterprise, which supports young people and adults with learning disabilities with training and employment at 3 garden sites in Dacorum.

The Sunnyside Rural Trust Trail is bookable for you to explore – 3 sites on just one ticket!

Sunnyside Hemel Hempstead is a Green Flag award site accessible from the Grand Union canal that is also a plant nursery growing peat free perennial and annual bedding for domestic and commercial clients. They have an orchard, quiet space and market garden growing a range of vegetables for their own use and to sell in the farm shop and use in the Sunnyside Up café, which makes a great barista coffee.

At Berkhamsted, located just above the town is Sunnyside’s Activity Centre. There are 2 rest gardens nestling under mature fruit trees including a fine specimen of the rare Aylesbury prune. There is a vegetable growing area and extensive cane and espalier fruit garden, with a woodland and hazel coppice, each busy with wildlife. They make delicious jams and chutneys from the fruit and vegetables.

Nestled alongside local allotments, the Northchurch site is a market garden and small animal farm. They grow vegetables to organic principles using ‘no dig’ methods and a variety of fruits. There are number of diverse habitats including an orchard with over 300 chickens, nature trail, wildlife pond and courtyard perennial garden. The site is also home to a small number of therapeutic animals. There is assisted wheelchair access where there are woodland and grass paths.

Sunnyside grew the perennial plants for landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith’s garden in 2021 at the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival. A select range of perennial plants, veg seedlings and herb plants will be available for sale as well as homemade chutneys and jams from Sunnyside’s own produce.

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