Private gardens all over England and Wales will open their gates to the public during this year’s Festival Weekend, 7-8 June, organised by the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) for charity. The Festival aims to get the nation enjoying the best of British gardens, whilst asking us ‘what do gardens mean to me’ all whilst raising much-needed funds for health charities including:, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Carers Trust, Parkinson’s UK, and Macmillan Cancer Support.
A host of celebrities are backing the call for us to get out and enjoying the feel-good benefits of gardens this summer. Actress Jane Asher, Downton Abbey star Jim Carter, Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Hilary Devey and Edwina Currie are all sharing what gardens mean to them in the run-up to the country’s biggest celebration of gardens – the NGS Festival Weekend.
Jane Asher says: “My grandmother had a large weeping willow in her garden in Essex, with a tap right in the middle of the exciting, gloomy tent created by the drooping branches. I remember the lovely feeling of the wet, muddy, squishy grass on my bare feet when I pushed my way in to fill a tiny tin teapot with ‘tea’ from the tap. And in my mind’s eye, as I emerge to fill up the little cups and saucers for my patiently waiting dolls and teddies, the lawn is perfect, the garden is enormous and the sun always shining. However misremembered, those occasional visits when I was young gave me a love of being in an English garden that has stayed with me to this day”.
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To find gardens open near you on 7-8 June visit www.ngs.org.uk and use the online garden search tool.