Thursday 24 July 2014

Kitchen Garden Notes - Barlborough National Gardens Scheme

Have you ever wanted to go and have a look at a different garden each week with all the entrance fee going to charity? Most people think they would soon exhaust all the public gardens around them but they don't know the garden lovers' best kept secret – the National Gardens Scheme (NGS)

Throughout the year people open up their gardens to the public in order to raise money for the NGS' nominated charities. These are the gardens behind the houses you pass everyday. Some are individual gardens while others open as a group. For the past couple of years I have been helping out with the gardens at Barlborough which have its open weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

One of the properties is The Hollies which I'm going to give you a sneak preview of. The house was built in the garden of the end property on the road. This means it is backed on by wheat fields on two sides. It also means it has a long drive of which the double width border has been fully utilised.

The beds have been filled with an amazing array of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Whatever you love about gardening there's something for everyone. One the first trees you will notice is the medlar tree. The fruit is looking very healthy at the moment but medlars are known to be needed to be left until they looking like they are rotting before using.

There are no separate areas for fruit, vegetables and flowers. They all grow happily next to each. From broad beans to apples to highly scented sweet peas.

The soft fruit in the garden is a particular delight at the moment. Branches are groaning with the weight of both green and red gooseberries.

At the back of the gooseberries are the currant bushes dripping with their red jewels.

There are still crops waiting to grow. The sweetcorn will be ready in September along with apples from the many trees lining the fence. Damsons are waiting to turn to a deep purple.

There's also a beautiful selection of roses with some famous varieties such as Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' and Rosa 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh'. Add to these the lavenders, hostas and dahlias. Remember as well this is just one garden out of six you get for one admission price!

Barlborough Gardens are open Saturday 26th July and Sunday 27th July 2014, 1-6pm both days.

No payment was made for this post but I did skip off home very happy with a box of the biggest, tastiest raspberries I have ever eaten!


  1. Everyone is busy in the village with preparations for the garden opening this weekend. I am off to the church to sort out my arrangement for the St James Church flower festival, the theme this year is "favourite hymns. Why not take a look inside the beautiful church to see if your favourite has been included.
    As I type a big pan of gooseberries is bubbling away waiting for the magical "setting" point for jam. A couple of jars will no doubt be included on the "homemade" tombola stall in the Hollies garden.

    1. It's wonderful how the whole village gets involved each year. More communities should take note!

  2. I've been looking at the National Gardens Scheme a lot recently , I keep meaning to head along to one in our area, I know a couple of other bloggers have been along to some and loved them - a reoccurring mention of cake in their posts too - which gives me extra incentive ;)
    That's the great thing about gardens, no two are the same and I love the thought of seeing whats behind the fences and walls of what you pass everyday.

    Thanks for joining in again, I always find your posts so interesting :)

    1. There's still plenty of openings throughout August and September. And yes, there is always lots of cake!

  3. The gates are now shut with the gardens returned to their owners after their public viewing over the weekend. We were certainly blessed with fabulous weather & had the chance to chat to so many interesting & friendly visitors. Cake, tea & Pimms were enjoyed, but that glass of champagne sipped looking out over the garden at 10.30pm last night after the tidying up & collection of money was the best!!!
    So many individuals have worked really hard to ensure that the visitors to the village had an enjoyable experience & together we raised an amazing £3400 for NGS.
    I am now going to lie down in a dark & quiet room for an least a couple of hours before I make a start on the next "project".

    1. It was another amazing weekend and so much money raised again. I'm sure we will be dreaming up new ideas for next year soon.


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