Whilst driving through a local village in Essex, we noticed lots of signs advertising an ‘Open Garden’ event. We wasn’t sure what it was or what to expect so popped along a couple of weeks later to see what it was all about. We have some truly beautiful open gardens to see in Essex.
So what are Open Gardens?
Open Gardens are ultimately ran by local communities raising money for various charities. People generously open their gardens and allow you to take a look around as a way of helping their community. Not only that, but several people also bake cakes and serve tea and baked goods from their gardens to further raise funds for charity. If there is cake involved, I’m there!
Whether you are a keen gardener or not green fingered at all, an open garden event is such a great community experience. Often there are other activities going on too, for example showing classic cars, morris dancing or stalls from local businesses selling their wares.
Every open garden we have attended has been such a lovely experience. Visiting some gorgeous gardens, in pretty villages, meeting local people and just having such a nice time. It has even inspired me to be more creative in my own garden. Gardens can range from small secret gardens to large sprawling estates with paddocks and sweeping driveways. Each person’s garden is so completely different, yet special for their own reasons. It is amazing to see how some people have transformed their outdoor spaces and some gardens take you completely by surprise! I have absolutely loved chatting to all the owners and feeling the amazing community spirit. My daughter has also loved the adventure. Along with discovering the gardens she has also met lots of animals along the way, from an 80 year old tortoise, several dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and frogs in a pond!
How to book
You do not have to book in advance and can buy a programme on the day which details all gardens included, along with a map and a description of the garden type. The programme also informs you of where refreshments and toilets are available. Many ‘Open Gardens’ you can book in advance and save some money. On average, it costs between £5 -£8 per person and normally children are free. You would need to check the details for the open gardens you were interested in.
You can find a list here of Open Gardens in your area. This website allows you to search for Open Gardens by area or date. Many of the Open Garden events run free shuttle buses to allow you to access the gardens more easily. We have now visited several in our local area and cannot wait to discover more.
Thank you for reading ‘What are Open Gardens Events?’.
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