Opening up again


Teresa Farnham is a local area organiser for the National Garden Scheme, which encourages people to open their gardens to the public for charity. Here’s a taster of the nearby gardens you can view this summer

It’s that time of year when gardens start to open to support the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Due to Covid restrictions in 2020, only a handful of gardens could open. However, London gardeners still managed to raise nearly £28,000, providing critical support to the nursing and health charities the NGS supports.

Many people have visited local NGS gardens in the past. This year please, please, please continue to do so! The garden owners work extremely hard to open their spaces for viewing, some with plants for sale and most with tea and cakes available. All money collected goes directly to the NGS. The gardens are generally open without booking, but for some, pre-booking is essential via the NGS website (it’s best to check online for confirmation that gardens are open as well).

Many London gardens are small, and garden owners have to work hard for interest that the larger country gardens can provide with less effort. My own garden at 17 Greenstone Mews in Wanstead (open on 11 July from 12.30pm to 4pm) is a good example, measuring just 20 feet by 17 feet. It features a mature strawberry tree and a buried bath used as a fishpond, surrounded by climbers clothing fences underplanted with herbs, vegetables, shrubs and perennials grown from cuttings.

A new garden opening this year is at 110 Perth Road, Ilford (open on 31 July from 1pm to 5pm). This is a long, thin garden that combines plants from the tropics, the Mediterranean and Japan, as well as the UK. Another larger new garden is at 26 College Gardens, Chingford (open on 6 June from 2pm to 5pm). It is approximately two-thirds of an acre with a sun terrace leading to established borders and a plethora of climbing roses.

There will also be four different gardens situated on the Aldersbrook Estate (1 Clavering Road, 21 Park Road, 4 Empress Avenue and 47 St Margaret’s Road, all open on 4 July from 12 noon to 5pm). Planting includes a colour-themed garden, a garden designed in circles and curves, a kitchen garden and chicken coop (there may be fresh eggs for sale), and a large garden with a medley of planting and different areas.

In South Woodford, you will find a pretty Victorian terraced house with a dog-friendly, Italian patio-style garden at 25 Mulberry Way (open on 27 June from 1pm to 5pm), and a delightful wildlife-friendly garden on two levels at the rear of 83 Cowslip Road (open on 11 July from 2pm to 5pm).

A huge thank you to all the incredible garden owners and their helpers who welcome you, the garden visitors, to raise such fantastic funds for charity. If you would like to open your own garden in 2022, do get in touch.

For a full list of gardens, entry costs and opening times, visit ngs.org.uk

For more information on taking part in 2022, email teresa.farnham@yahoo.co.uk

Author: Editor