Make your dad’s day with a trip to remember

Make your dad’s day with a trip to remember

Father’s Day is fast approaching; here are some ideas courtesy of the National Garden Scheme to give Dad a special treat.

Whether your dad is an allotment ace, a horticultural hero or simply a cake connoisseur, take him to visit one of the 234 National Garden Scheme gardens open over Father’s Day weekend for a celebration with a difference.

There are a variety of gardens ready to be explored over the weekend – including an allotment-style kitchen garden in Devon by organic produce company, Riverford (below); a small but magical and densely planted part-walled garden in Essex; and an historic house with a garden dating back to the 17th century in Cumbria (top). Or take him to one of the many groups of gardens opening together in pretty villages around the country.

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Lambeth Palace – home to the Archbishop of Canterbury – boasts one of London’s oldest and largest private gardens, and is opening to the public on the evening of Monday, June 18 for the National Garden Scheme.

Visitors of all ages are welcome at garden openings and with delicious homemade cake, tea and plant sales available at almost all gardens, it’s the perfect family day out. Children under 16 often get free entry, many openings have disabled access and dogs are allowed in a number of gardens.

National Garden Scheme chief executive, George Plumptre, says: ‘There’s no better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to visit a National Garden Scheme garden on June 16 and 17. Our gardens are very much a place for families, where everyone can relax and enjoy the idyllic surroundings and a slice of cake together –all while raising vital funds for nursing and caring charities. I’d challenge any father to not enjoy garden visiting, and I’m sure it beats a mediocre and overpriced meal in a crowded restaurant!”

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This year the National Garden Scheme donated a record £3.1 million from funds raised through entry fees, teas and cakes 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.

Lambeth Palace (above and below) is a working palace and family home to the current Archbishop of Canterbury, and has been occupied by Archbishops since 1197. Rarely open to the public, the palace is supporting the National Garden Scheme and raising money for nursing and caring charities by offering visitors the opportunity to tour the garden while enjoying a glass of wine.

Lambeth Palace boasts a formal courtyard which houses a historic White Marseilles fig tree planted in 1556, and parkland style gardens which features mature trees, woodland and native planting, an orchard and a pond. There is also a formal rose terrace, a summer gravel border, a scented chapel garden and active beehives to see.

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The garden is open on Monday, June 18 from 5.30pm to 8pm and tours will be available during the evening. Refreshments, including wine, will be on sale and admission is £5 for adults and free to children. No booking is necessary.

Entrance to the palace is via Main Gatehouse facing Lambeth Bridge and the address is: Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7JU.

Details of all National Garden Scheme gardens opening over Father’s Day weekend can be found by visiting: https://www.ngs.org.uk/fathers-day-gardens/ or via the free ‘GardenFinder’ app.

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Steve Ott

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