Open gardens event is a blooming success

Belper open gardens. Roy and Frances Foulke Windmill Lane. No 11 on map.
Belper open gardens. Roy and Frances Foulke Windmill Lane. No 11 on map.

More than 200 people from as far afield as Sheffield and Nottingham visited Belper to view beautiful blooms and perfect petals across the town over the weekend for the second open gardens event.

Twenty-two enthusiastic gardeners, as well as four public gardens showcased their flora and fauna during the event, which was organised to generate cash for local charities.

Donations are still being counted, although it is thought that last year’s total of £490 has been smashed.

Organiser Kathy Fairweather: “It all went very well - with visitors from across Derbyshire. We think there is in excess of £500 been raised.”

Sheila Brinkworth, of Whitemoor Lane, was among those who opened her garden for the weekend. She said: “I had 19 visitors on the Saturday and 27 on the Sunday. Many people travelled from place like Yorkshire and Nottingham to look round the gardens and some spent two days here - clearly they were keen gardeners.

“A lot of people were attending for ideas and inspiration. It’s a cheap day out and the fact there were refreshments and plant sales going on meant there were several pit stops.”

Now more people are being encouraged to help organise next year’s event.

Mrs Brinkworth added: “Kathy has done it on her own this year. We need more people to help run it and we could do with some keen gardeners stepping forward to help run a committee. There has already been a map produced of all the gardens - so anyone who gets involved can’t go wrong. We would love it to be a permanent part of summer.”

Among those touring the gardens was Belper Mayor Deborah Biss, who was full of praise for the event.

She said: “As a resident I have always been very proud and very appreciative of the green spaces in and around Belper, and as the current mayor I managed to tour most of the open gardens with delight.

“ I commend everyone who took part and contributed to the scheme, made especially worthwhile as funds raised will benefit many different charities.

“Apologies to the few gardens that time prevented me from visiting.I do enjoy my own garden, and found inspiration in each and every ‘open garden’. All are individual and all demonstrate the devotion, skill and creativity of the owners.

“I was especially impressed by the creation of outdoor living spaces, the care taken to protect and encourage wildlife, and the continued use of gardens for food production. A sincere thank you to everyone who took part.”

If you are interested in helping to organise open gardens, phone Kathy on 07779412702.