National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend offers nationwide access to glorious gardens

This year’s National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend will see gardens open in every county across England and Wales on 2nd and 3rd June. The National Garden Scheme Festival offers access to hundreds of private gardens during one of the most beautiful months of the gardening year.

Now in its sixth year, Festival Weekend celebrates glorious gardens in bloom at the height of the season and the 316 gardens open across England and Wales are guaranteed not to disappoint! Visitors can enjoy a wide range of gardens over the weekend – including small urban spaces, cottage gardens and gardens opening together in a village group, as well as some 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.

Garden owners and visitors help support Perennial throughout the year and the donation Perennial receives each year makes a huge difference to the people the charity supports [See news from 15 March]. Anita Bates, Director of Marketing & Fundraising at Perennial, says:

“For those of us who love to visit unusual, rarely seen gardens, the National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend is a real treat. But for Perennial, whose purpose is to support people who work in horticulture through difficult times in their life, the Festival also represents a crucial moment in the gardening calendar. It brings people from all walks of life together for the spectacle and enjoyment of gardens, knowing that their donations will help charities like ours support people through life’s many challenges. On behalf of everyone at Perennial I’d like to thank all the garden owners, their visitors and everyone at the National Garden Scheme for their continued support.”

George Plumptre, CEO of National Garden Scheme, explains why Festival Weekend is key time in the organisation’s calendar:

“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 volunteer’s 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.”

Gardens not to miss over the Festival Weekend include Hunmanby Grange in Yorkshire which boasts the National Garden Scheme’s only private brewery in a garden; Kew Green Gardens, a fascinating group opening of five long gardens behind a row of 18th century houses in London; and Spencers in Essex, a dreamy walled country garden renovated by Tom Stuart-Smith.

To find a garden near you, visit the National Garden Scheme Festival Weekend page, which lists garden alphabetically in county order.

Photos with thanks to: Sue Sayer, Helen Harrison and Susie Gibbon, all for the National Garden Scheme.