The National Garden Scheme has celebrated its 90th year, helping people open their gardens to paying members of the public to raise money for a whole raft of charities like Macmillan Cancer Support, Queen’s Nursing Institute and many more.

Jacky O’Leary, one of the Assistant County Organisers for the Hertfordshire Open Garden Scheme explained to Amanda Yorwerth on Environment Matters how the scheme had its roots in nursing. Originally this association had simply been a fund raising one, but now the associations between good health, recovery and gardens are being proven which links the two at a deeper level.

The gardens on show are not all big (although some are) or dominated by luxuriant flower displays (although some are) and cake isn’t compulsory (not quite!). Vegetable growing and wildlife meadows are welcomed too, and the gardens give us a great opportunity to experience new plants, new ways of using our space and meet the lovely people sharing their gardens.

If you have a garden, do consider whether you could open it under the NGS, either on its own, or with a few neighbours’ gardens. You can sell refreshments and plants too and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice. If you apply, an NGS organiser will visit your garden and, even if it’s not quite ready for opening yet, they’ll make suggestions to help it make the grade for a future year.

See for more information about the scheme and gardens open around St.Albans, and email if you’d like your garden to be considered for the scheme.