Open gardens builds on last year’s success

A green-fingered charity event is set to return to Belper this weekend - and organisers say it will be bigger and better than last year.

Belper Open Gardens was held for the first time in summer 2012, with 18 keen gardeners showing off their perfect plots to generate money for local charities.

Following the event’s success, organisers have put together a programme of 26 gardens for Saturday, June 29, and Sunday, June 30, and are hoping hundreds will turn out to inspect the beautiful blooms on show.

Organiser Kathy Fairweather, said: “We had excellent feedback for last year’s event, with visitors from as far afield as Yorkshire and Leicestershire travelling over.

“As a result we have decided to run the event again and increase the number of gardens on show this year. Everything has been late this year with the weather - but now everything is coming out it is a lot lusher and greener.”

To join the Open Gardens trail - which includes homes in Windmill Rise, Wyver Lane, Bargate Road and Windmill Lane, among others - visitors have to buy a map costing £3 from either Fresh Basil in Strutt Street or St Peter’s Church.

This allows entry to all 26 gardens and also a quilting exhibition at the Belper Unitarian Chapel on Field Row.

Money raised will be distributed among local charitities.

There will also be home-made refreshments available at some of the gardens and plant sales.

Each garden will be open to the public between 11am and 4pm on both days.

Last year, the open gardens event fed into judging for East Midlands in Bloom and Britain in Bloom - and the town scooped the gold award in the national competition - topping the best large town category at a ceremony in StHelier, Jersey.

For more information on open gardens you can also phone Kathy on 07779 412 702.