The garden at 23 Linksway, Northwood

Open For Inspiration

8th May 2009

If you’re a gardener – on however small a scale – there is little that is more delightful than the opportunity to ‘snoop’ around someone else’s plot… planting combinations to admire, designs to remember, ideas to steal. Perhaps the only thing more pleasing is to have your garden open for charity, and be on the receiving end of all those compliments

Northwood resident Jackie Simmonds was delighted when her garden was accepted by the National Gardens Scheme. Every year, 3,600 privately owned gardens across England and Wales welcome more than half a million visitors. All participants are helping to raise upwards of £2.5 million for caring, nursing, and gardening charities. It’s a wonderful way to meet and chat to the garden owners, perhaps enjoying a cup of tea and piece of cake. Garden owners who want to participate in the NGS scheme have their garden vetted by a local area co-ordinator, so visitors can be certain that standards are high.

Jackie Simmonds was particularly pleased to have passed as last year her garden suffered from the dreaded Honey Fungus, and many plants and trees were lost. Her battle with Honey Fungus is ongoing, but she has learned much along the way, and has even produced a paper giving visitors information about treatment for this condition which affects many a Northwood garden.

And it’s an open garden day with a difference, for Jackie is an established UK artist, whose prints and paintings have been sold worldwide, and who has no less than seven art instruction books to her credit. Not only can visitors enjoy the beautiful garden, but Jackie will also have on display an exhibition of her garden and flower paintings, including images from Giverney, Monet’s garden in France and the Buchart Gardens in Vancouver. If the weather permits, she will spend some time painting in the garden too, allowing visitors to watch over her shoulder.

The garden is at its best in Spring. Two-thirds of an acre in total, it begins with a raised patio by the house (with colourful planted tubs and urns) which leads to a sweeping lawn, set against a backdrop of mature trees, massive rhodedendrons, colourful azaleas, black and green bamboos and a superb Sambucus Nigra. There are two trios of ponds, one stocked with fish and the other trio at the bottom of the garden linked by a stream and surrounded by a rock garden with alpines and a variety of beautiful acers and garden ornaments chosen to create an oriental feel.

The garden, which is at 23 Linksway, Northwood, is open for the NGS on Sunday 24 May, 2-7pm, and then again, on 21 June, also 2-7pm, for a local garden scheme.
It is wheelchair-friendly, with ramps to aid visitors.

For further information call 01923 824180.

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