It’s no secret that here at Coco & Wolf we are big fans of spending time in the great outdoors, be it on beautiful balconies adorned with overflowing florals, long walks in the verdant countryside, relaxing beside the river or enjoying glorious garden picnics. While not all of us are lucky enough to have some outdoor space, there’s no reason weekends can’t be spent exploring inspiring gardens and seasonal blooms, especially throughout the summer, you’ve just got to know where to look! Luckily for you, we have a secret weapon in our arsenal of garden exploration and it’s time to let the cat out to the bag.
THE NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME'S BEAUTIFUL GARDENS
Founded in 1928 as a way to raise money for The Queen’s Nursing Institute, The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises money for a variety of nursing and health charities. Built on the nation’s obsession with gardening, the scheme provides a wonderful way to explore gardens which would otherwise not be celebrated. All of the open gardens have quality, character and interest, whether they are big or small, and most importantly they get us all outside whilst raising vital funds for the NGS’ beneficiaries.
Finding gardens to visit is made easy on the National Garden Scheme’s website where you can choose to search for open gardens by location, type of garden or date. Throughout the summer we like to plan ahead and decide a handful to visit, both local and a little further afield. The admission fees are usually very reasonable, making for an affordable family afternoon out - the children have fun running around freely and I love discovering new plants and flowers I’d like to add to my own garden, quite often the garden owners are milling around too and more than happy to chat though planting which helps a novice like me!
GREAT BRITISH GARDENS
The last couple of years did of course, like everything, affected how scheme operated, with many gardens moving to pre-booking but this year, alongside visits by prior arrangement, you can also enjoy some more off the cuff adventures with gardens open to all, which is a little more appealing given the unpredictability of the Great British Summertime’s weather! We’re looking forward to visiting Great Dixter House in East Sussex and South Wood Farm in Devon. Which gardens are on your list to visit?