Open season

For many people, tomorrow marks the end of the gardening year – and it all happens at Millrace Nursery, in Garforth, Leeds, the last open garden in the 2014 calendar of 
the National Gardens Scheme in Yorkshire.

Garden glory courtesy of the NGS.
Garden glory courtesy of the NGS.

So, there you have it; what began way back in wintry February at Sue and Chris Bonds’ watermill garden in Pocklington, comes to a fitting conclusion at a specialist nursery with a stunning 

Visiting an NGS private garden, paying a modest entry donation, having a chat with the owner and enjoying that cuppa raised more than £134,000 in 2013.

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Nationally, the National Gardens Scheme included more than 3,700 gardens helping to raise millions of pounds for charity – needy causes including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices, Crossroads – Caring for Carers and others. And all this is because so many individuals are prepared to open the gardens they have slaved to create for their own pleasure – and so many members of the public are prepared to pay to visit them.

The NGS’s famous Yellow Book, which lists all those gardens and their owners, has become a bit of a Bible for the hundreds of thousands who love to spend their time examining the beds and borders, the lawns and parterres, the follies and fabulous acreages of total strangers.

Next year, it’s hoped that even more gardens will be open, with the first few braving the end of winter and welcoming spring with fantastic shows of snowdrops and early bulbs. As Nature begins to get into her stride, weekends should become packed with gardens great and small.

In Yorkshire, there were more than 120 gardens opening this year (17 new ones, including The Jungle Garden, a fabulous example of lush planting in a Leeds suburb where palm trees, bananas and bamboos erupt into a tropical paradise in summer) all listed in a free booklet.

Visit the NGS website – – for up-to-date information about garden openings or follow events on [email protected]

Millrace Nursery, 84 Selby Road, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1LP is open tomorrow 1pm-5pm and by appointment until the end of September. [email protected], 0113 286 9233. Admission is £4 with children free.