The National Garden Scheme celebrates its 90th year
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Discover some of Cheshire’s hidden gems this summer through the National Gardening Scheme, which marks its 90th anniversary, writes Emma Mayoh.
The National Garden Scheme is an institution. For the past 90 years it has been showcasing some of the country’s best gardens and raising money for charity at the same time. And in our county it has been no different.
From Arley Hall and Peover Hall - members of the NGS since it was founded 90 years ago - to the newer, smaller green spaces you wouldn’t usually get a chance to look at, there is a wonderful variety of gardens to view up close. They are all lovingly tended and opened at selected times through the hard work of an army of enthusiasts and volunteers.
John Hinde, county organiser for Cheshire and Wirral, who has his garden, Twin Gates, in the scheme, will open on the evening of June 16th. He said: ‘It is a wonderful thing to do. I love gardening and was really pleased to get involved.
‘We open our garden this year in the evening as something a little bit different. We have made some wonderful friends and I visit many other beautiful gardens.’
All this hard work means that thousands are raised for charity. In 2016, £3 million was raised nationally and Cheshire and Wirral raised over £100,000. It is the largest single contributor to nursing charities.
Carol and Chris Bennion joined the National Garden Society four years ago. This year, they will open their garden at Threapwood, near Malpas, which features a blaze of beautiful colours, on June 17th and 18th from 1pm – 5pm.
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The couple have completely changed the gardens at their home since they moved in a decade ago.
‘I’ve taken everything out of all of the borders other than established shrubs,’ said Carol. ‘It’s been a lot of hard work. We managed to save two fruit trees including a Bramley apple tree which is over 100 years old. There’s also a pear tree which produces fruit with the most amazing flavour.
‘The NGS is an incredible organisation to be involved with. We have met some fantastic people and it means you’re doing something you love and raising money for charity at the same time. It’s a win, win situation.’
For details of Cheshire and Wirral gardens open to visits, log on to www.ngs.org.uk.