22 Mar Essex National Garden Scheme gardens set to open this spring
The 2021 season launch of new and returning gardens to the National Garden Scheme portfolio in Essex signals hope for a much-missed season of garden visiting.
Gardens bursting with spring blossom and bulbs just as lockdown restriction are beginning to ease is an opportunity not to be missed. Essex has some fine gardens opening this April and May. As outdoor activities are soon to resume, an increased interest in garden visiting is anticipated.
Gardens opening in central Essex:
Feeringbury Manor in Feering starts is weekly openings for the Scheme on Thursday 1 April and continues to open every Thursday and Friday 10am to 4pm until 30 July (then opening again in the autumn). This is a stunning garden to visit at any time of year but in the spring the jewelled lawn is alive with spring bulbs and forms a breathtaking highlight to this 10-acre garden.
Wycke Farm in Tolleshunt D’Arcy is opening on Friday 23 and Sunday 25 April from 11am to 5pm on both days. This is a large cottage style farmhouse garden which has been developing over the last 12 years and includes mature trees, spring borders and lovely views over the Blackwater Estuary. A walk along the estuary could easily be incorporated into the visit.
Friday 23 April is also the day that Beeleigh Abbey Gardens opens specifically for the National Garden Scheme between 10.30am and 4.30pm. This stunning three-acre garden includes woodland walks offering the perfect situation for thousands of spring bulbs and opportunities for longer walks to the river.
Heyrons, a new garden in High Easter, opens on Sunday 25 April 11am until 5pm, and offers mixed informal spring planting in an interesting walled garden, forming part of an ancient farmyard in this charming village.
Spring is a very popular time to see the garden at Furzelea in Danbury and this year, Wednesday 28 April 2 to 5pm and Sunday 2 May 11am to 5pm will be the time to see all its spring glory. Thousands of tulips are the highlight and an interesting area has been created using black and white tulips along with other spring flowering shrubs.
The famous garden at Ulting Wick has two dates for the public to enjoy the renowned displays of tulips and these are Sunday 25 April 11am to 5pm and Friday 30th April 2pm to 5pm. Expect dynamic plantings of tulips and wall flowers planted against a backdrop of black Essex barns making the colours truly sing out.
There is a new garden opening this year, Bassetts in Little Baddow and it makes its debut for the National Garden Scheme on Friday 7 May and again on Sunday 9 May 10.30am until 5pm. This two-acre garden is bursting with interest at this time of the year and has stunning views too.
The garden at 1 Whitehouse Cottages in Woodham Walter has proved a great hit on the Essex National Garden Scheme YouTube channel with a number of videos following its progress over the summer last year. It is a charming garden which uses a clever mix of cottage garden plants to delight visitors and wildlife. Its first opening this year is on Sunday 16 May 10am until 3.30pm.
Another garden which opens many times over the season is Dragons in Boyton Cross and the date for its spring opening this year is Thursday 20 May 2pm until 5pm. This is always a delight to visit and amaze with the number of interesting plants and flowers on display.
Friday 28 May is the first date of the season for 8 Dene Court in Chelmsford. It will be open between 2 and 5pm and is a truly delightful, small town garden packed with spring colour and inspiration.
Talking of spring’s highlights, Essex County Organiser Susan Copeland said: “I was delighted that our gardens registered to open in 2021 in just about their usual numbers and that we have so many new gardens. I do hope that our regular visitors and many new ones too will support us while we gradually get back to a more recognizable way of opening, while following Government guidelines. This year Gardens and Health Week falls from 7 to 16 May and as National Garden Scheme Ambassador, Rachel de Thame said: “Gardens, gardening and being in a garden helps us get through some of the most challenging of life’s experiences… the National Garden Scheme is once again at the heart of providing wonderful garden experiences for thousands of people.”
The Essex gardens open for charity booklet for 2021, which lists all the gardens opening across the county is currently being distributed to Tourist Information centres, libraries and garden centres. This year the booklet can also be accessed online https://www.paperturn-view.com/?pid=MTQ143117&v=1.4&p=3
All garden openings are subject to the coronavirus restrictions in place at the time and in most instances pre-booking of timed entry slots will be in place. Visitors are advised to check the details of the gardens they want to visit and to book online on the National Garden Scheme website before travelling www.ngs.org.uk