Hundreds of visitors discover Maidenhead's secret gardens

Staff reporter

Hundreds of people took the opportunity to discover some of Maidenhead’s secret gardens, raising thousands of pounds for charity as they did so.

Organised by Maidenhead Rotary Club, the Open Gardens event on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25 saw 22 gardens of all types and sizes across the area open their gates to more than 500 people.

The weekend raised an estimated £7,700 for a number of good causes including Maidenhead Foodshare, Thames Hospice and Maidenhead Mencap.

Many gardens sold refreshments and plants in aid of individual charities while others hosted live music or showcased the work of local artists.

Now in its second year, the event is a celebration of the great British love affair with gardening and the perfect way to get inspiration and exchange ideas with like-minded gardeners.

BBC Berkshire’s resident gardening expert Colin Evans was on hand to offer advice to visitors to one garden, while volunteers from Wild Maidenhead were also available to give tips on making gardens more environmentally friendly.

On Sunday, Maidenhead MP Theresa May visited a group of gardens around Langworthy End, Holyport, which encompassed high and low maintenance gardens, one that was still under construction and another at a property built in 1600.

The former Prime Minister chatted with owners about their gardens and the inspiration behind them.

She said: “It’s been a real eye-opener this year seeing some amazing gardens with real history but also a huge variety of different gardens. Hopefully it gives people lots of ideas for what to do with their own gardens and it’s all in support of good causes.”

Open Gardens organiser Rotarian Janet Perry said: “We have been so lucky with the weather again and to see so many people open up their gardens has been wonderful. Everyone has enjoyed themselves talking about their own gardening experiences and borrowing ideas from the gardens they have been visiting.

“We have already had a number of new garden owners volunteering to open their gardens next time.”

Maidenhead Rotary Club President Martin Trepte said: “Open Gardens has again proved to be a fantastic success bringing so many people together in their shared love of gardening. All the gardens were incredibly busy and the atmosphere was amazing.”

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