2017 marked the 90th Anniversary of the National Garden Scheme. The unique charity is a combination of hardworking gardeners and volunteers, beautiful gardens and delicious cake; all of which come together to raise money for nursing charities across the UK. Supporting nursing charities has always been the aim of the NGS, and today they are the largest charitable funder of nursing in the country, raising over £50 million so far. Marie Curie and Macmillan Cancer Support are just two of the charities supported by the NGS. When my stepfather died after a battle with cancer ten years ago, it was the scheme's involvement with these charities in particular that continued to inspire my Mother and I to open the garden each year.
The little yellow book (consider it the A-Z of all NGS gardens) describes my Mother's garden as a country Cotswold work in progress, with 'plenty of places to sit and relax'. Visitors always seem to be pleasantly surprised by the number of different seating areas in the garden, they are often particularly relieved, considering the steep hill you have to climb in order to reach our house in the first place (it isn't called Awkward Hill for nothing!) The garden is definitely designed with comfort in mind. You can socialise by the barbecue at the dining table to entertain guests, or perch on the patio with a cup of tea and breakfast. Then, you can sit on the dock by the pond and dip your feet in the water, or perhaps cosy up by the fire pit with a glass of wine and a bag of marshmallows; the possibilities are endless!
This is not the case at all, as we are currently in an age where gardening and home decor is quickly becoming very fashionable for the younger generation, and this is reflected in the variety of guests that visit. A lot of this can be contributed to sites like Instagram and Pinterest, which feed the creativity of budding bloggers and homemakers all over the world. In many cases, the only thing stopping younger people from getting into gardening is the fact that it's almost impossible to find an affordable property with it's own green space, particularly in the major cities. This is where the little yellow book becomes a bit of a treasure trove... gardens listed in London often showcase the incredible ways in which you can manipulate small spaces into something National Garden Scheme worthy.
There are also those who shamelessly admit to us that they are mainly visiting for the cake and cups of tea... which is absolutely fine as well! All money raised goes towards the charities listed by the NGS, and all leftover cake goes towards my own personal stash of treats for the next week, so everybody wins. To find out more information about the NGS, click here.
Hi there, my name is Nevada and I'm a twenty-five year old music teacher. The Little Green blog centres around wildlife, gardening and lifestyle photography. All photos are my own and represent the portfolio of an amateur photographer!