Kent Bylines has been sent the 2023 booklet from the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), with many gardens in Kent open to the public at various times this year. See below some extracts from NGS publicity.
“Fresh air and the beautiful, faithful first signs of spring epitomised by drifts of glorious snowdrops are a reminder of the changing seasons and the promise of what’s to come. What better way to shake off the winter and to celebrate the gardening visiting year ahead than with the National Garden Scheme’s 2023 Snowdrop Festival. With over 100 gardens with snowdrops and spring flowers open January to March there’s lots to explore.”
What is it about Snowdrops?
“These tiny harbingers of spring and of garden wonders to come, ignite interest and passion – discover why with our lovely virtual visits, expert views, articles, fun facts and more!”
For Kent residents, the next open garden of this festival is Doddington Place, near Sittingbourne, opening on 19 February:
“A 10-acre garden, wide views; trees and cloud clipped yew hedges; woodland garden with azaleas and rhododendrons; Edwardian rock garden; formal garden with mixed borders. A flint and brick late C20 gothic folly; newly installed at the end of the Wellingtonia walk, a disused pinnacle from the southeast tower of Rochester Cathedral.”
For other Kent Gardens which will be open to the public in 2023, click the link below
The earliest opening in Surrey for viewing flowering bulbs (by arrangement, pre-booking) appears to be Timber Hill in Chobham: “Six acres of garden, park and woodland with views to North Downs. Enjoy winter walks, then a sea of snowdrops, crocuses and spring bulbs, followed by spectacular camellias.”
“The National Garden Scheme opens over 3,500 private gardens to the public each year. Most visitors are familiar with the gardens that open their gates to everyone on set days, but in 2023, 1,011 of them also open for you, your group or friends and family by arrangement.”
The Scheme raises money for charity from gate fees and donations, so the private owners who do this are helping various other organisations, mostly in nursing and mental health:
“By opening your garden, you’re not only giving people a great day out – you’re also raising money to help those in need. In 2022, garden openings meant we could give £3.11 million to our beneficiary charities. What’s more, you’ll join a community of thousands of other like-minded garden owners, all passionate about great gardens and raising money for great causes.”
“Over 550 volunteers support the opening of National Garden Scheme gardens each year. From serving teas to promoting the gardens and manning the gate, there are lots of ways to get involved.”
For those who are less mobile, or when bad weather excludes an outing, there are also virtual tours:
“When the weather turns, why not enjoy a virtual garden visit over the winter months. There are over 180 gardens to choose from; gain inspiration from the comfort of your own home and plan ahead for gardens to explore in 2023.”
A copy of the local NGS booklet can be picked up at public libraries, garden centres, open gardens, tourist offices, some train stations and local shops.