Our second National Gardens Festival Weekend (7-8 June) will see hundreds of beautiful gardens across the country open their gates to the public to raise money for nursing and caring charities. The festival is set to be the biggest garden opening event of the year, with more than 500 openings planned over two days. Most importantly, the festival aims to raise thousands for the National Gardens Scheme’s beneficiary charities, which include Help the Hospices.
The National Gardens Scheme has a rich and interesting history that has always been closely involved with nursing and caring in the UK.
Since 1927, when it was founded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute, the NGS has raised vital funds for charity by asking people to open their gardens to visitors, and charging a modest entry fee that would be donated. Help the Hospices became a beneficiary in 1996, and since that time over £3 million has been raised for hospice care through NGS garden openings.
Exploring a garden has to be one of the most enjoyable ways to support a charity, and there’s a festival garden to suit all tastes. From small urban gardens to spacious country estates, they will appeal to keen gardeners and casual visitors alike – everyone will enjoy and benefit from the beauty of a lovingly tended garden.
‘Gardens are good for you’
At the National Gardens Scheme, we very much believe that ‘gardens are good for you’. A national survey we recently commissioned* revealed strong agreement on the healing power of gardens, with over 80% of those questioned holding the opinion that gardens can help us recover from illness and cope with long-term health problems.
Being outdoors in a peaceful, inspiring setting can certainly make us feel happier and healthier, and a festival garden can offer a beautiful retreat from busy everyday life. Almost all gardens will also be offering delicious home-made teas and cakes – an added bonus to a great day out that is sure to lift the spirit!
Most of the gardens opening for the festival are privately owned and are not normally open to the public. Admission prices are very reasonable, usually around £4 for adults and in most cases free for children under 16.
We are looking to entertain many visitors over the Festival Weekend, who will have the double benefit of an enjoyable day out – and the chance to contribute to wonderful causes.
To find a local Festival garden near you, visit www.ngs.org.uk
*‘NGS Health Benefits of Gardens’ Survey, April 2014. Conducted by ComRes interviewed 2,055 GB adults online between 23rd and 24th April 2014.