The National Garden Scheme (NGS) is delighted to announce that 524 gardens have joined the scheme in 2023 and will be available for visitors to enjoy their glorious displays and leafy paths. This is a remarkable achievement and shows the dedication of the volunteers, gardeners and supporters of the NGS in providing access to these beautiful locations. From large walled gardens to small urban plots, there is something for every visitor to enjoy. In this blog, we will look at the details of the NGS, its increase in popularity and how you can visit the gardens, as well as some of the incredible gardens that are part of the scheme.
What is The National Garden Scheme?
The National Garden Scheme is an independent charity that allows visitors to explore beautiful private gardens around the UK. Founded in 1927, it has grown to be the largest voluntary donating charity to palliative and nursing care, with over £5 million raised in 2020 alone.
The gardens come in all shapes and sizes, varying in style, size and planting. From traditional cottage gardens to woodlands and even allotments, the NGS makes sure that extraordinary and unusual gardens are accessible and open to visitors.
The Incredible Increase in Popularity of The National Garden Scheme
In 2020, the NGS achieved full capacity for all the gardens involved in the scheme and therefore, 2021 saw and even bigger surge in popularity. This meant that for the first time in its history, the National Garden Scheme hit 524 gardens, which is extraordinary and unprecedented.
This surge in interest may have been partly due to the quarantine and lockdown, as more people wanted to access the outdoors and appreciate nature in a peaceful, safe and enjoyable way. Gardening has also become a popular pastime during the pandemic, with people looking to escape their worries and grow their own flowers, fruit or vegetables.
How to Find and Visit National Garden Scheme Gardens
If you are looking to find a National Garden Scheme garden, then you can use their interactive map. This includes detailed information about all of the NGS gardens and where they are located, and you can further refine the search by selecting filters for the garden’s size, wheelchair access and refreshment.
Once you have found your desired garden, there are various ways of visiting. All of the gardens are open on different days, so you must make sure to check the website for opening times and other relevant information before hand. Additionally, some of the gardens are open for set times, whilst other are open all year round.
The Different Types of Gardens Available
The range of gardens available through the National Garden Scheme is impressive and offers a great selection.
Many city gardens are part of the NGS, allowing urbanites to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find a peaceful retreat in the leafy green spaces within their own city.
Small gardens offer a great introduction to gardening, and you can experience a wonder of colour and design despite their relatively compact sizes.
Large Walled Gardens
Large walled gardens offer visitors a hidden world and allow them to explore extensive and breathtakingly beautiful gardens. These spaces can be luxurious, secret and tranquil – a great escape from the outside world.
Allotments are becoming more popular and are increasingly turning up in the NGS. These veg-patch havens offer people an insight into the growing process and provide a great source of healthy and fresh produce.
Woodland gardens offer an enchanting experience, with deep mysteries and pathways waiting to be discovered.
The NGS also offers several coastal gardens, with beautiful views of the sea, dramatic cliffs and potential sightings of seabirds and other wild animals.
Highlights of The 524 Gardens
Now that the NGS garden count is over 500, there are even more incredible gardens on offer at all corners of the country. Here is a selection of some of the finest gardens you can explore as part of the NGS:
- Barton Court – a three-acre garden in Kent, with glorious spring bulbs, an enchanting pond, wildflower meadows and a Kitchen Garden.
- Somerset’s Grasmere Gardens – a four-acre garden with an Art Gallery, two-acre maize field, two lakes, woodland and wildflower meadows
- Unity Wood – an exotic garden with colourful and lush foliage, paths winding through secret tunnels and a dramatic waterfall
- Two Acre Garden in Wrexham, North Wales – an old meadow which has been transformed with wildflower meadows, colourful flower beds and plenty of wildlife
- Muncaster Castle Garden – a twelve-acre garden in Cumbria, with plenty of history, breathtaking views and exotic plants
The Benefits of The National Garden Scheme
The National Garden Scheme has plenty of benefits to visitors and society. The main purpose of the NGS is to donate money to palliative and nursing care, which is a great cause and helping people in great need.
The scheme also provides a unique opportunity for visitors to access beautiful and unusual gardens which are often not available to the public. It also helps to promote and support local businesses who are involved in the gardens, such as nurseries and garden centres, who can often struggle in an increasingly digital world.
Finally, it helps to connect people with the natural world, promoting spending time outdoors, understanding the environment and bio-diversity and learning more about gardening.
The National Garden Scheme has achieved a remarkable feat and reached the incredible milestone of 524 gardens as part of the scheme for 2023. This demonstrates the hard-work of volunteers, gardeners and supporters, who have created opportunities to access beautiful and unique gardens around the UK. Visitors are provided with an escape from the everyday, as well as a chance to learn from, appreciate and reconnect with the natural world. The NGS’s dedication to providing access and raising money for palliative and nursing care is exemplary, and the increase in popularity associated with this pleasurable pastime is a testament to its success.
With 524 gardens to explore, there is something for everyone, so if you are looking for a day out or an escape, be sure to check out the National Garden Scheme and find a treasure garden near you! The National Garden Scheme (NGS) recently announced that 524 new gardens and parks are set to join over the next two years. This commitment will bring the total total to over 3,350 gardens across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Established in 1927, the Garden Scheme operates as a charity that helps empower people to volunteer, support local communities and enjoy the beauty of gardens across the UK. To date, the NGS has contributed over £60 million to health, welfare and other charities, the largest of which are Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Carers Trust and Hospice UK.
The new gardens participating in the scheme for2023 range from traditional country estates to unique urban spaces, with a variety of diverse locales including gardens in new housing estates, churches and community spaces, riverside allotments and more.
“Opening 524 new gardens and parks in 2021 and 2022 will give thousands more people the chance to benefit from the joy of being in and being around the garden”, said George Plumptre, CEO of the National Garden Scheme.
The most recent addition to the scheme will launch in 2021 and include the Oxfordshire garden ‘Westland of Nuneham’ and the 16th century Northenden Manor near Manchester. Next year, 230 gardens will open their door to the public, including Gerard O’Haras garden in Co Galway, Ireland and Roman Court in Milborne Port in Somerset.
The NGS has also moved some of its offerings online, such as its “Renovating Places of Worship” project, which is creating digital resources to help churches, chapels and other places of worship renovate their gardens.
The garden opens for the holiday season on April 3rd, 2021 and ends on October 30th. To join the 524 new gardens and parks, search for events near you at NationalGardenScheme.org.uk
For more information, visit NationalGardenScheme.org.uk.