Published: 28 May 2012
Garden Open Today
Driving through many towns, villages or along country lanes can reveal hidden gems, often only discovered because of a small yellow sign declaring ‘Garden Open Today’.
Look out for one of these on your travels...
By following the yellow direction sign you will be almost certainly find a garden, or collection of gardens that will be full of horticultural surprises, owners that are delighted that you have come to see them and other visitors equally keen to explore the winding paths or fantastic vistas to distant hills.
The National Garden Scheme [NGS] celebrates its 85th birthday this year with over 3800 gardens open throughout the year. More than 120 of this total have been opening regularly from the beginning of the scheme in 1927.
It is a fact that no two gardens are ever the same, when visiting NGS open gardens this becomes evident. The sheer range of shapes, sizes and styles is truly amazing and it is often these discoveries that keep many visitors going back for more.


Yellow Book


The famous ‘Yellow Book’ is printed to cover the whole country in a single volume, available from bookshops at £9.99 or as individual booklets listing only gardens in that county, these are available at many open gardens or tourist information centres for a small donation.
Money raised from open gardens is given to national charities via the NGS organisation or sometimes an owner may present a percentage of the takings to a local charity of their choice.
In the past ten years over £22 million has been donated to support nursing and caring charities.
Visitors to NGS open gardens will have a most enjoyable time seeing some great gardens and  charities will benefit from the proceeds, and if the gardens are selling refreshments the tea and cake really can have the cherry on the top. 
Reported by Chris Allen  

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