21 glorious gardens to visit in Suffolk

Woman in a wild flower meadow

It's official. . . gardens are good for you. - Credit: National Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme is back for another year. It's the perfect reason to be out and about - and a great way to get some inspiration.

Suffolk has always been a county of garden lovers and the pandemic has propelled interest in gardening to new heights. Equally, support for nursing and health charities has never been more important.

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the National Garden Scheme made a donation of £2.88 million to charities in 2020, despite the closure of many gardens during lockdowns. Core beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.


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So, why not get out in the fresh air and visit some of these NGS gardens open during May and June? Refreshments can now be served. Some gardens may have pre-booking available, so it's best to check before visiting. Visit ngs.org.uk for times and booking arrangements as well as its latest Covid statement.

Bridges at Woolpit, open to visitors for the National Garden Scheme.

Bridges at Woolpit, open to visitors for the National Garden Scheme. - Credit: National Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme is marking its annual Gardens and Health Week with comprehensive proof that gardens are good for you. The charity’s fully interactive, digital booklet, The Little Yellow Book of Gardens and Health, is packed with stories and case studies from garden owners, garden visitors and beneficiaries who have found solace and improved health and wellbeing by immersing themselves in nature.

There are views and expert tips on how to get the most from your garden experience, whether as a gardener or a garden visitor. There's a foreword by NGS ambassador Rachel de Thame, while other contributors include best-selling author of The Well Gardened Mind Sue Stuart-Smith, garden designer and NGS trustee Arit Anderson, garden journalist Ian Hodgson and occupational therapist Lisa Shyamalan.

Another garden date for your diary is the NGS 2021 Great British Garden Party, launched this month by Mary Berry, NGS president and the nation’s number one cake maker. The event takes place officially during September 4 to September 12, celebrating the importance of gardens and raising vital funds for nursing and health charities supported by the National Garden Scheme, but you can choose any day across the summer that is best for you.

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“We’re inviting everyone, it doesn’t matter whether your garden is large or small, tidy or untidy – it’s a place for enjoyment," says Mary. "Your garden party could be afternoon tea and cakes, prosecco by candlelight, a coffee morning and book swap or even a plant and produce sale by the front gates – the choice is yours and everyone can get involved.” 

To join the Great British Garden Party sign up on the National Garden Scheme website, invite your guests and the National Garden Scheme event team will support you in organising the event. ngs.org.uk/gardenparty

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NGS gardens open in Suffolk in May and June

Saturday May 22

Granary Barn, Burgate. IP22 1QQ

Sunday May 30

Lavenham Hall, Lavenham CO10 9QX

Bridges at Woolpit features sculpture.

Bridges at Woolpit features sculpture. - Credit: National Garden Scheme.

Bridges, Woolpit IP30 9SA (+ pic)

Berghersh Place, Witnesham IP6 9EZ

Freston House, Freston IP9 1AF

Monday May 31

Holm House, Drinkstone IP30 9FJ

Cattishall Farmhouse, Great Barton IP31 2QT

11 Brookside, Newmarket CB8 8SG

Sunday June 6

Barton Mere, Great Barton IP31 2PR

Saturday June 12

Old Rectory, Nacton IP10 0HY

Charming Smallwood, open as part of the National Garden Scheme.

Charming Smallwood, open as part of the National Garden Scheme. - Credit: National Garden Scheme

Smallwood Farmhouse, Bradfield St George 

Sunday June 13

Old Rectory, Nacton IP10 0HY

5 Parklands Green, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6UH

Wood Farm, Gipping IP14 4RN

Great Bevills, Bures CO8 5JW

Saturday June 19

The Rooks, Claydon IP6 0AL

Sunday June 20

Hillside, Semer IP7 6HN

The Old Rectory, Kirton IP10 0PT

Friday June 25

Church Cottage, Braiseworth IP23 7DT

Sunday June 27

Church Cottage, Braiseworth IP23 7DT

Ousden House, Newmarket CB8 8TN

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