Cake and cups of tea will add to summer’s delights as hundreds of gardens, large and small, throw open their gates next month.
The National Garden Scheme’s Festival Weekend 2018 will see gardens open for charity in all counties across England and Wales on June 2 and 3 – giving everyone access to private gardens in their area during one of the most beautiful months of the gardening year.
Held annually and now in its sixth year, Festival Weekend celebrates glorious gardens in bloom at the height of the season. More than 316 gardens will be open to the public over the weekend, with an average of nine open in every county across the North, East, South East, South West, the Midlands and Wales and the Marches.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of gardens over the weekend – including small urban spaces, cottage gardens and gardens opening together in a village group, as well as impressive country house gardens and community gardening projects. Delicious tea and cake, a much-loved staple of National Garden Scheme garden openings, will also be available.
George Plumptre, CEO of National Garden Scheme, says: “Festival Weekend is a fantastic opportunity to experience the joy of gardens at their very best and with open gardens in each county, we’re delighted they are easily accessible to everyone. But it’s not just about enjoying our volunteers’ breath-taking gardens, a slice of cake and a cup of tea – the weekend will raise vital funds for the nursing and caring charities the National Garden Scheme supports, who do extraordinary work such as community nursing and in specialist areas such as cancer, Parkinson’s and end-of-life care.”
Festival Weekend gardens can be found by visiting ngs.org.uk/festival, or in the Garden Visitors’ Handbook 2018. Gardens not to miss over the weekend include:
Hunmanby Grange, Driffield, Yorkshire
Barton Bendish Hall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk
Kew Green Gardens, Kew, London
Spencers, Great Yeldham, Essex
The average entry fee for visiting a National Garden Scheme garden over Festival Weekend is approximately £4.45 for adults and free for children. Dogs are welcome at a number of open gardens, while many locations also sell plants.
This year the National Garden Scheme donated a record £3.1million from funds raised at open gardens in 2017 and continued supporting charities including: Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie; Hospice UK; Carers Trust; Queen’s Nursing Institute; Parkinson’s UK; Perennial; National Autistic Society and MS Society.