© Hugh Harkness

Midsummer Gardens

24th May 2013

If you’ve ever coveted someone else’s planting scheme, or seen a front garden you liked and wondered whether the back was just as good, the third weekend of June is your chance to explore a great selection of local gardens and pick up all that insider knowledge…

Conceived in 2003 by enthusiastic local gardener Tony McDonnell, the biennial Midsummer Gardens event has grown to encompass Northwood, Pinner, Hatch End, Moor Park and Denham as well as its original areas of Ruislip and Eastcote.

It’s a very stylishly organised affair. Unlike similar open garden events where you can find yourself milling around in a crowd of thousands, Midsummer Gardens limits its numbers so that everyone can fully enjoy the experience, and it’s a ticket-only event. There are 20 gardens open in total across the area, and a ticket costs only £10 per person, working out at just 50p per garden: excellent value for an exclusive peep behind the horticultural scenes.

There’s a great variety to see – from herbaceous borders to topiary, from woodland plots to neat kitchen gardens; even an award-winning allotment site – and many participants also have other events to tempt, such as tea and cake, wine and nibbles, and sales of plants, jams/chutneys, books and artwork. The ticket comes in the form of a brochure that contains a map, all the addresses and a brief description of each plot so that you can plan your day.

This year’s openings take place on the weekend of 15 and 16 June, with six gardens open on the Saturday between 11am and 5pm and four open between 4pm and 9pm. On the Sunday, ten gardens will open between 11am and 5pm and two between 12 noon and 5pm. Two gardens are open on both days. Proceeds from ticket sales go to a range of charities, all locally-based.

See http://midsummergardens.com for details

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