Dig out your sunglasses and root around in the cupboard for your panama hat. Summer is once again on our doorstep, and NGS gardens across the region are opening their gates to the public.
Gardens in Congburn and Hillside Cottages were unveiled in February as part of the NGS’ inaugural Snowdrop Festival, and further smattering of openings took place throughout April. But as we move beyond the wet spring months and towards a hopefully balmier summer, over forty of the Scheme’s gorgeous gardens will be available to visit.
This year, garden enthusiasts have already marvelled at the Kirkhale Lake Courtyard, the birthplace and first workplace of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, one of England’s most celebrated gardeners. The updated itinerary features another seven debuting gardens, including the Hidden Gardens of Skelton, the ten-acre Victorian garden of Northumberland’s Adderstone House, and the charming 107 Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, one of the NGS’ many wheelchair-accessible gardens.
Old favourites such as Wallington, Woodlands and Gibside are blossoming once more in 2016, as are the magnificent walled gardens of Lilburn Tower and the rose arbours at Coldcotes Moor Farm. There are 54 gardens in total opening throughout the season, each with its own unique sense of beauty and identity.
All of these gardens can be enjoyed for a small donation, with the money going towards a number of the Scheme’s many worthy charities. Since 1927, the NGS has raised almost £50 million for care charities such as Marie Curie Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support and Hospice UK, as well as boosting the coffers of many other local beneficiaries.
“At every garden opening we have attended so far, we have been astounded by the attitude, endeavour and personalities of those who cultivate and lovingly maintain these wonderful gardens. By opening their properties and their homes to the public, these hardworking volunteers are helping to raise funds for so many charities. We’re thrilled to be a part of it – and not just for the home-made teas!”
This year’s guest charities are MS Society, an organisation which funds research and offers information and support about Multiple Sclerosis, and Horatio’s Garden, which strives to bring the natural beauty of the outdoors to patients within NHS spinal injury centres.
2016 marks Wade Financial’s third consecutive year as sponsors of the National Gardens Scheme in the North East, and our IFAs are looking forward to exploring some of the North East’s finest gardens in aid of a number of causes.
“Wade’s sponsorship of the NGS in the North East is of real value to us, because it means more of the money our garden owners raise goes directly to the nursing and caring charities we support. It helps the NGS continue as the most significant donor of charities such as Macmillan and Marie Curie. This year NGS has given £2.7m to our beneficiaries.
“Most importantly, we value the excellent working relationship we have established over the last three years. The members of the firm are great to work with and are always ready to offer their support.”
Maureen Kesteven, NGS County Organiser for Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
What is the NGS?
Since its foundation in 1927, the National Gardens Scheme, or NGS for short, has raised well over £45 million for its nominated charities by supporting owners to open their gardens to the public in return for a small donation. The money raised provides finance for care-based charities. The NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK, currently giving beneficiaries more than £2.6m annually. The NGS has grown significantly over the decades. 609 gardens were opened to the public when the Scheme first started; that number is now approaching 4,000.
Who do they support?
Amongst the main beneficiaries are a number of nursing and support charities, not least Marie Curie Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support, two organisations which strive to provide personal support and palliative care for those living with terminal illnesses. To that end, the Scheme also supports Hospice UK, Carers Trust and The Queen’s Nursing Institute with sizeable contributions, as well as providing much-needed funds for a guest charity every year.
This year’s guest charities include MS Society, an organisation which funds research and offers information and support about Multiple Sclerosis, and Horatio’s Garden, which strives to bring the natural beauty of the outdoors to patients within NHS spinal injury centres.
To view the list of gardens opening in your area this summer, click the NGS North East booklet in the sidebar, or find out via our dedicated NGS page.