Beautiful country gardens to visit
The National Gardens Scheme, founded in 1927, is an independent charitable trust which raises funds by opening gardens to the public throughout England and Wales...
THE National Gardens Scheme, founded in 1927, is an independent charitable trust which raises funds by opening gardens to the public throughout England and Wales. This year around 180 gardens will open in Sussex until October, allowing us the privilege of visiting some of the stunning private gardens of the county.
Running the NGS affairs in Sussex is a team of volunteers led by county organisers Rosie Lloyd for East Sussex and Carrie McArdle for West Sussex. An enthusiasm for gardening and meeting like-minded people shines through their personalities.
"I've made some wonderful friends, had a great deal of fun and learnt more about gardening than I'd have believed," says Carrie. "To anyone thinking of becoming involved I'd say; give it a go and welcome to the country's biggest and most enjoyable gardening club."Rosie adds "I try to pop in and see as many gardens as possible, to meet and support the owners. Some are great plantsmen and women and I love to talk plants. I find all the gardens interesting, the differences stimulating."
New gardens welcomeThe scheme is always on the lookout for new gardens. Rosie explains a garden owner may telephone or email to offer to open their garden or a committee member may go to a village opening or hear of a garden through friends. The garden is then visited at the time it would be at its best to open.
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The size of the garden doesn't matter but the content needs to have interest, quality and character. Layout, good plants and excellent maintenance are further criteria. "I would love to find some seaside gardens and it would be nice to have a few modern gardens in the mix or some wonderful allotments," adds Rosie.
Once a garden is selected the procedure for opening is explained fully to ensure a pleasurable experience for all. The special NGS yellow road signs, posters and advice