The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

GARDENS TO VISIT

- By George Plumptre ELLERKER HOUSE, Everingham, York YO42 4JA

Gardens are now opening in England in support of the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Currently no gardens are opening in Wales. Visitors must book tickets in advance for all visits at ngs.org.uk.

LONG CRENDON GARDENS, Long Crendon, Buckingham­shire HP18 9AM

The restrictio­ns imposed by coronaviru­s meant that in 2020 virtually no groups of village gardens were able to open for the NGS. They are hugely popular with visitors so it is wonderful they will be able to open in 2021, starting with two groups tomorrow, as featured here.

Long Crendon is a picturesqu­e Buckingham­shire village close to the border with Oxfordshir­e and tomorrow four large gardens will open with a mouthwater­ing array of spring flowering trees and shrubs, quantities of narcissi, tulips and other spring flowers. Also on offer is peaceful water in different ponds and lakes, and eye-catching views to the Chilterns. Together they make for a perfect expedition of discovery.

Open tomorrow, £6 for four gardens, children free

This year marks the 20th consecutiv­e year that Flore gardens have opened in support of the NGS; the group even managed to open in 2020.

As with so many English villages, there is something timeless about the setting in the Upper Nene Valley, with an abundance of attractive buildings and a 12th-century church.

There is intriguing variety in the seven gardens – in size, character and style – and there will be many delights of seasonal planting to enjoy.

As well as the mix of gardens, new ones are included this year. All have been developed by friendly, enthusiast­ic and welcoming owners and range from the traditiona­l to the eccentric, providing year-round interest.

Greenhouse­s, gazebos and summerhous­es also offer opportunit­ies to rest while enjoying the gardens.

Open tomorrow, £6 for seven gardens, children free

A romantic five-acre garden with paths leading enticingly on into larger areas of bluebell woodland, Ellerker House offers a feast of springtime delights.

Sweeping lawns and fine mature trees provide the framework of varied details of planting from flowering shrubs to drifts of daffodils threading through the stumpery and other areas around a large lake.

There are small seasonal treats such as hellebores and erythroniu­ms. Following a woodland path you will find flowering rhododendr­ons and a traditiona­l breeze hut which overlooks the lake; the whole experience makes for an absorbing afternoon which children will love as much as the adults.

Open tomorrow, £6, children free

For details of all gardens open in the coming weeks, go to ngs.org.uk

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 ??  ?? FLORE GARDENS, Flore, Northampto­n NN7 4LQ
FLORE GARDENS, Flore, Northampto­n NN7 4LQ

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