What’s not to love about the National Garden Scheme‘s open gardens events? Have a look around other people’s private gardens, you say? In aid of charity you say? You’re on.
On a gloriously sunny Sunday last week I toured the gardens and allotments of my home town, Kenilworth. There were five gardens and one allotment site open, plus a church hall selling tea and cakes, all within easy walking distance of eachother.
I started my tour at the Beehive Hill allotments. This site has only been in its current state for seven years, having been an open field previously, but it has quickly become very established and looks highly productive.
As is often the case at these events there were plants (and in this case fresh rhubarb) on sale for bargain prices (all proceeds to the NGS charities) and I nabbed this (unnamed) succulent for just £1.
On to the next garden, which was accessed along a passage to the side of the house with this gorgeously intriguing and inviting vista at its end.
The majority of the garden was lawn and curved borders around the edge, but the rear was shadier and more covered with some very inviting seating areas.
I liked the way the boundaries of the garden were hidden and the curved borders and dividers turned a squarish plot into a more rounded one.
Next up was the large walled garden of this very impressive townhouse which sits in a prominent position on the historic high street and is a bit of a landmark in the town.
I had to walk around this garden three times to do it justice- there was a lot to see. I liked how the different parts of the garden had such different atmospheres, from the formal lawns on two levels with their symmetrical yews, to the shady path around one edge and the colourful sunny borders along the opposite edge.
My next stop was just along the road. The formal frontage of the house and fairly traditional layout of the garden behind belied the quirky sense of humour of the owners of this garden.
I loved this sculpture, I’d definitely like to have something like this in my garden.
And this looks like a lovely place to sit on a summer evening.
The next house and garden were in a more modern style that would look at home in West Coast USA.
The final stop was a garden had a very different feeling to the rest, no formal lawns or structural hedging here, this was a gravel garden with inviting pathways between abundant plant growth and lots of ‘rooms’ to stop and sit in.
I enjoyed my tour of this very lovely and historic part of Kenilworth. All of the homeowners and allotment holders had clearly put in so much work and it’s a brilliant thing to do for charity. Gardens can be opened all year round under the scheme but summer is the most popular time, so to find an open garden near you over the next few weeks, take a look at the NGS website.