On Sunday 30th and Monday 31st May, three delightful gardens in Amport and Monxton will be open to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme, and all in a good cause.

The National Garden Scheme opens privately owned gardens in England and Wales on selected dates for charity. It was founded in 1927 with the aim of “opening gardens of quality, character and interest to the public for charity”. The scheme has raised over £60 million since it began, and now opens over 3,600 exceptional gardens each year, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake.  All thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors.

In the early days at a Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) council meeting in 1926, council member Miss Elsie Wagg came up with the idea of raising money for district nursing through the nation’s obsession with gardening. A year later the National Garden Scheme was founded and garden owners were asked to open their gardens for ‘a shilling a head’ (5p). 609 gardens opened and raised a total of £8,191.  A small number of the original “pioneer” gardens still participate in the Scheme, while many more have joined. County organisers are responsible for vetting gardens to make sure they are of sufficient interest.  Visitor information is published in a publication called The Garden Visitor’s Handbook (formerly the Yellow Book), and on their website www.ngs.org.uk

Originally the admission fees raised money for District Nurses.  In 1980, the National Garden Scheme Charitable Trust was launched.  The Queen’s Nursing Institute is still one of the charities supported, along with core charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Mind, Carers Trust, Parkinson’s UK and others.  The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity; they are also passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, and support charities doing amazing work in gardens and health, and grant bursaries to help community gardening projects.

Details for Amport & Monxton Gardens

Sunday 30th May 2pm – 5:30pm.  Pre-booking is available.

Monday 31st May 2pm – 5:30pm.  Pre-booking is available.

Monxton and Amport are two pretty villages linked by Pillhill Brook. Visitors have three gardens to enjoy.

Bridge Cottage, Amport SP11 8AY, with parking in a field by Amport village green, adjacent to the play area. This two-acre garden is a haven for wildlife, developed over 20 years by the current owners. A lake is edged with glorious herbaceous borders planted informally with drifts of colour. A trout stream with water voles and kingfishers. Organic vegetable garden, fruit cage, small mixed orchard and arboretum with unusual specimen trees. Superb plant sale.  Dog friendly, and wheelchair access is OK.

Corner Cottage, 15 Sarson, Amport SP11 8AE is on the corner of Sarson Lane.  A delightful traditional cottage garden and sumptuous planting, surrounding a grade II listed thatched cottage (not open), with clipped box hedging with topiary, a paeony patch, and old-fashioned roses.  Partial wheelchair access.

White Gables, Monxton SP11 8AL.  A secluded cottage-style garden, leading down to Pill Hill Brook. A collection of interesting trees, shrubs, old roses and herbaceous plants, together with numerous planted pots and seating areas and a haven for birds and wildlife. No wheelchair access.

Features and attractions: Amport has a lovely village green, come early and bring a picnic. There is a very popular large plant sale at Bridge Cottage.

Refreshments: Cream teas in the Monxton & Amport Village Hall, located in  Monxton. Refreshments in aid of St Mary’s Church, Monxton.

Admission : Adult: £6 (includes entry to all three gardens), children free.

Please see the NGS website www.ngs.org.uk for more details regarding pre-booking, accessibility and other useful information.  Pre-booking is advisable and will help keep everybody Covid-safe.