Photos: T Green
The sun shone last Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June, helping to make this year’s Open Garden event one of the best ever, according to our local participants.
13 Bantlam Lane and 12 Alexander Avenue in Enderby combined their events, with much to delight visitors who were able to visit one location and then visit the other on the same entrance ticket.
At Bantlam Lane it was the first year that Clive and Helen Biggs have hosted an open garden event and Helen told Enderby EYE they had “somewhere around 150 visitors” and had received a lot of compliments.
Their garden is described as “A pretty cottage garden packed full of flowering shrubs and herbaceous perennials. There are many areas of interest with ornaments and water features.
A small courtyard garden opens into a wisteria covered pergola lined with a fern filled bog garden and large potted acers. This leads to a wildlife pond and additional paved seating areas surrounded with fragrant roses.”
The normal format of these events is for visitors to generally enjoy the gardens, purchase plants, cakes and tea/coffee, raising funds for the ‘Open Gardens Scheme’ charity.
On their inaugural event Clive and Helen decided to do something ‘differently’. The difference was in the form of bottles of Prosecco as an alternative to tea or coffee. However, due possibly to the time of day and the ‘age demographic’ the Prosecco experiment may be shelved for future events! Nevertheless, between the Prosecco and the plant sales, Clive said the location raised around £500 for the cause.
Further into the village at Alexandra Avenue, Pat and John Beeson welcomed visitors to what is described as a “….small town garden which has been carefully designed to make full use of the space available and to provide interest all year round”.
View across the pond at 12 Alexander [Photo: OGS]
The Beeson’s dispensed with the lawn giving them space to create different areas in the garden, including a pond. The area is also able to accommodate a wide variety of plants chosen for their colour and to attract wildlife.
John and Pat said their garden is an ‘extension of the house’, a place to potter, relax and enjoy.
John and Pat Beeson: Our garden is an ‘extension of the house’ [Photo: OGS]
This is the sixth year that the Beeson’s have taken part in the Open Gardens and John told Enderby EYE that he and Pat had sold around one hundred tickets at their venue which would be added to the number of tickets sold for the Bantlam Lane venue.
Photo: Enderby EYE
John said he thought there were probably more visitors this year “…probably because of the two gardens combining the events” and the money raised from plant sales, cakes and beverages overall totalled around £900.
The combined monies raised are forwarded to the ‘National Open Gardens Scheme’ which adds the amount to its general fund from which it awards money to a number of charitable beneficiaries.
The National Scheme
The National Garden Scheme is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country, donating over £50 million since its first ‘open garden’ event in 1927 when ‘The National Garden Scheme’ was founded. In that founding year, Individuals were asked to open up their gardens for ‘a shilling a head’. In the first year 609 gardens raised over £8,000.
Current beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice U.K., Carer’s Trust, Queen’s Nursing Institute, Parkinsons U.K., MS Society, the Leonard Cheshire Homes amongst many others.
In 2017, on the 90th Anniversary of the Scheme, it celebrated with its biggest ever donation amount of £3 million to the beneficiary charities. That Included a new Gardens and Health beneficiary, which for 2017 was The National Autistic Society.