The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 to raise funds for community nurses and has donated over £60 million to nursing and health charities and is also the largest single funder for many of its beneficiaries. The money is raised through the opening of exceptional gardens across England and Wales. In 2019 the gardens raised £4 million pounds. The major beneficiaries include Marie Curie Nurses, Macmillan Cancer Support, Hospice UK and the Queen’s Nursing Institute.
In 2020, 3,700 gardens were scheduled to open, but the lockdown due to coronavirus meant that for the first time ever, the garden gates were closed to visitors. This was a huge blow to everyone involved from garden owners, to the charities who depend on the National Garden Scheme funding, to prospective garden visitors who normally spend a summer happily visiting their favourite gardens.
Undeterred, the National Garden Scheme worked with garden owners who volunteered to film virtual garden visits during the lockdown. From stately acres to town and village gardens, owners produced short video films of their gardens. A library of more than 100 short films is available at www.ngs.org.uk.
Mary Berry launched a donations appeal in April to Help Support our Nurses, drawing attention to the amazing work on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis being done by the nursing charities they support. One hundred per cent of funds raised in 2020 will go to the Help Support our Nurses Campaign.
Some gardens have begun to reopen. There are changes in the way the open gardens operate, and entry is only by pre-purchased ticket to gardens able to open. Check details on www.ngs.org.uk.
In August two lovely local gardens are open. Tickets for timed entry to the gardens are available from the Monday morning of the week the gardens open.
The Old Vicarage
Halam Hill, Halam NG22 8AX
Sunday 9th August
A single handed labour of love transformed a two acre hillside pony paddock into a much admired landscape garden. Open for the National Garden Scheme for 18 years, it has given much pleasure to visitors who return every year. An artful eye for design / texture / colour, together with a love of unusual plants and trees, makes this a welcoming gem to visit. Plants for sale and take away cakes also.
Broadings Lane, Laneham, Retford DN22 0NF
Sunday 16th August
New for 2020, this one acre garden that takes you through a hosta garden into a jungle with bananas, tree ferns and cannas. Follow a winding path to a parterre with topiary and sequoiadendron giganteum pendula trees and water features. Also a woodland walk, sculptures, wisteria circular walkway and seating throughout. Multiple areas of herbaceous planting and unusual specimen trees and plants with artic cabin. Parking available, dog friendly.
You can book tickets for reopening gardens by visiting www.ngs.org.uk.