Charity idea just keeps on growing

The British obsession with gardening and nosing round other people’s plots has proved a money spinner for charity.

In 2013 the National Gardens Scheme raised more than £2m for charities including Macmillan and help the Hospices.

Bedfordshire has 23 private gardens which open for the charity throughout the year, offering people a chance to wander among a diverse variety of landscapes and planting.

On Sunday Flaxbourne Farm in Apsley Guise opens its gates and in June two gardens in Barton le Clay, the Manor House and the quirky Wayside Cottage across the road will be open for visitors.

Other gardens in the scheme include Dragons Glen in Clophill and Luton Hoo Walled Garden. Luton Hoo Hotel Golf and Spa with landscaping originally created by Capability Brown will also be providing guided tours and illustrated talks.

The Hyde Walled garden in East Hyde, opening on June 14 and July 13, features a rose garden and an interesting group of Victorian greenhouses, coldframes and cucumber house.

Across the border in Hertfordshire more than 60 gardens will be on show throughout the year.

>For more details of gardens and opening times go to