The best open gardens to visit this weekend

The best open gardens to visit this weekend

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 - NGS

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 – NGS

A green-fingered visit to a beautiful garden has become a great British weekend tradition. As well as providing creative inspiration for one’s own plot, these outings usually include tea and cake and a trip to the plant stand.

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) has more than 3,500 gardens that will open for charity in 2022. Open days are not only very enjoyable, they also do enormous good: in 2021, NGS donated more than £3m to its beneficiary charities.

Details of all gardens open all year round (including those that accept cashless payment) can be found at Advance reservation is required only where stated in a garden listing.

The gardens open on June 25th and 26th

East Cliff, Love Lane, Bembridge, Isle of Wight PO35 5NH

Every now and then, a star garden pops up and opens up to NGS for the very first time, and East Cliff (above) is just such a garden. 15 acres surround the elegant 1930s house (not open) built by a pupil of Sir Edwin Lutyens and the garden stretches to the edge of the cliff that gives the garden its name and has spectacular views over the English Channel.

The garden’s main hallmark, however, is its design by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who first visited in 2014 and created something that illustrates her reputation as a designer and plantwoman. The combination of the overall concept that surrounds the house, the subtle combinations and eye for detail, and the exquisite plant associations in every bed and bed will enchant you all afternoon. The intimacy in some areas contrasts with the bold sweep of the wildflower meadow that stretches to the cliff edge. Take a notebook, there will be a lot you want to record.

Open Saturday 25 June 2pm-6pm, £8, children £2.

Le Grand Dixcart, Sark, Guernsey, Channel Islands GY10 1SD

This is a remarkable year for NGS as it marks the first time gardens have opened in support of the charity in the Channel Islands. Three gardens will open this weekend, two on Guernsey and Le Grand Dixcart on the smaller island of Sark. With their mild, maritime climate, the islands are perfect for gardening, and Le Grand Dixcart takes full advantage of a delightful setting at the top of a wooded valley, surrounded by an old farmhouse (not open).

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 - NGS

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 – NGS

Organic cut flowers and vegetables have been grown for over 20 years and a permaculture system is well established which will be of interest. Echiums and other exotic species attest to the sheltered conditions, and the pristine tranquility of a car-free island is a rare treat.

Open Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June 11am-3pm, £4, children £2.

Musbury Barton, Musbury, Axminster, Devon EX13 8BB

6 acres of interest accumulated over 70 years surround a characterful thatched traditional Devon longhouse (not open) and offer visitors an afternoon of enjoyment. Roses are a forte – there are about 200 plants – and they’ll be in full bloom this weekend, showing off some really impressive colors.

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 - NGS

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 – NGS

But as you might expect in a large garden of such maturity there is much more, not least a collection of fine trees in the arboretum, a lovely avenue of horse chestnuts and a selection of unusual flowering shrubs, many of which are not yet fully mature. Climbing up and down stairs will allow you to explore the steep valley of the garden with a stream running through it, you will return home rested and full of ideas.

Open Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June 1.30pm-5pm, £5, kids free.

The gardens open on July 2nd and 3rd

This week we celebrate the joint opening of garden groups in towns and villages across the country. Of the 200 open garden events for the National Garden Scheme this weekend, about 15 percent are groups; This is just a selection, details of all gardens can be found at

Wolsingham Village Gardens, Wolsingham, nr Bishop Auckland, County Durham

This group says it is a village, but Wolsingham is actually a small, thriving and very picturesque market town of Saxon origin, at the entrance to Weardale, through which the River Wear flows. The group includes eight gardens, many centered around historic stone houses (not open), most centered around the town’s recreational area, one of which is a short drive away.

Garden at Wolsingham - NGS

Garden at Wolsingham – NGS

One garden actually overlooks the River Wear, the others offer a rich variety, from traditional cottage style planting to more contemporary decking and outdoor living spaces. Dahlias sprout and the allotment group is approaching its summer peak. All this and the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside make for a captivating visit.

Open Saturday 2 July 2pm-6pm, combined entry for 8 gardens £6.

Cardinham Gardens, nr Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 4BN

A quartet of gardens which together celebrate the wonderful, unspoilt countryside and countryside on the south-west side of Bodmin Moor, where moorland gently gives way to forest and gentler hills and meadows. A close connection with the surrounding landscape is important to all four gardens and Haygrove Cottage has superb views across the valley.

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 - NGS

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 – NGS

Pinsla’s location near the edge of the wood gives the garden a more secluded feel and allows you to celebrate the wildlife as well as some exquisite plants that testify to Cornwall’s mild climate. Madderhay and The Beeches are small gardens of character; Madderhay in particular has a calm palette of plants. Tea in the community hall rounds off a relaxing afternoon.

Open Sunday 3 July 11am-5pm, combined admission to 5 gardens £6, children free.

Crawley Gardens, nr Winchester, Hampshire SO21 2PR

Surrounded by the open fields of the Hampshire chalk lowlands, the charming village of Crawley is dotted with thatched cottages and has a pub where lunch is recommended before your visit. Each of the gardens celebrates the links with the neighboring landscape; At Tanglefoot, the rich variety of plants in colour-coordinated borders provide the perfect introduction to the vast expanse of wildflower meadow laid out to one side of the garden.

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 - NGS

Best Open Gardens To Visit This Weekend Family Day Trip 2022 – NGS

Whether it’s the immaculately grown fruit on Tanglefoot’s tall Victorian wall, the sophisticated mix of a Mediterranean garden, plaited limes and a formal trickle at Bay Tree House, or the sumptuous mix of plants in the country garden of thatched Paige Cottage, there is a feast of variety that will keep you in the village all afternoon.
Open Sunday 3 July 2-5.30pm, combined admission to three gardens £5, children free.

This article will be updated with the latest information.

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