Despite having to close its garden gates for the first time in its 93-year history under current government guidelines on Coronavirus, the National Garden Scheme today launched a new scheme that will keep its stunning gardens virtually open through the coming weeks and raise funds to replace lost income from gardens not opening.
Virtual garden visits, many filmed by their owners, will be hosted on the National Garden Scheme’s website and delivered direct to the nation’s inbox via the charity’s weekly eNewsletter with links via its social media channels. A longer, featured garden visit will be posted every two weeks while a library of shorter, owner filmed tours will be curated each week.
You can view the Woodlands Farm, Monmouthshire here.
The stunning gardens at Woodlands Farm, Monmouthshire with its tumbles of white cherry blossom and the serene beauty of the settings of Gorsty House and The Rock House in Powys star in the first release of virtual garden visits. Gorsty House owner, Annie Frost, also offers a tutorial on how to keep your daffodils in tip top condition year on year. 250 gardens were due to open across Wales this season and more will be opening for virtual visits soon.
Mary Berry, President of the National Garden Scheme, who launched the Support Our Gardens Appeal in her own garden said:
“This wonderful organisation has been inviting people to open their gardens to raise funds for nursing and health charities for more than ninety years. During that time it has given away nearly sixty million pounds. Also during all that time, the gardens have never had to close – not even during the Second World War. That is until now.
“Right now people are not able to visit the gardens and there is no money being raised. In fact, as things are, the charity’s income is likely to be down by 80% during 2020.
“So a team at the National Garden Scheme made up of garden owners, volunteers and staff have organised a marvellous campaign which we are launching today.
“Garden owners have recorded videos of their gardens to make a series of ‘virtual visits’ and we are inviting everyone who might have visited a garden to watch a virtual visit instead and think of giving a donation to the charity.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea, typical of the resourcefulness which has kept the National Garden Scheme going for over ninety years and I urge you to support the campaign generously and enjoy the stunning gardens.”
National Garden Scheme CEO, George Plumptre added: “The wonderful content that we are sharing while our gardens are closed provides an inspirational reminder of exactly why gardens and gardening are so important to us all. And, with your continued support while we are virtually open we hope to ensure that we continue to open the gates to exceptional gardens, champion gardens for health, and support some of the most vital nursing charities in the country for many years to come.”