Elizabeth and Martin Walker with their golden retriever, Bonnie.
Gardens galore! Celebrate the British summer with a visit to an NGS garden near you
July 17, 2012  //  By:   //  Charity Events, Events, NGS
Victoria Poolman

Bio: Having written for a range of trade and consumer publications, Victoria brings her love of all things local to the role of HugoFox News Editor.

Victoria Poolman

Elizabeth and Martin Walker with their golden retriever, Bonnie.

What could be better on a warm summer’s day than a leisurely stroll in a beautiful English country garden?

But if your garden resembles more of a scrubland than a serene, green paradise, fear not, because with an abundance of beautiful gardens opening their doors to the public this summer season, nobody is excluded.

At HugoFox.com, we’re delighted to broadcast an array of events organised by the National Gardens Scheme spread across Hampshire, and whether you fancy exploring a lush jungle or a floral paradise, there’s something here for everyone.  www.ngs.org.co.uk

To celebrate the great British summer (it’s coming, honest!) HugoFox News will be profiling just a few of these local wonderlands over the coming weeks. Here’s our first, featuring Willows Garden which opens this weekend:

Willows Garden, Pilley Hill, Boldre, Lymington, Hampshire  SO41 5QF  www.willowsgarden.co.uk – Open Days  21st & 22nd July – 18th & 19th – 26th & 27th August

This beautiful garden is simply bursting with colour in high summer, featuring a stunning array of tropical bamboos and gunneras around the pond, stream and bog garden.  Traditional English dahlias and heleniums join the cannas and other exotics in twin borders around the circular lawn.

The garden was created by Elizabeth and Martin Walker in 2005. Having lived on their boat for ten years – sailing around the world together, they fancied some time on dry land.  After building their house in Lymington, they started on the garden.  First Martin built a dam and then carved out the pond.   Elizabeth celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary by planting up a bed of vibrant red flowers. Recognising her horticultural talents as their garden bloomed, Martin encouraged Elizabeth to invite an NGS representative to view her garden with a view to being in the famous Yellow Book – and the rest – as they say – is history! Now, in Willows’ fourth year of opening to the public, the couple look forward to welcoming visitors to their home and garden.

Elizabeth says: “In spite of the weather, our garden is still looking good.  It has wonderful colourful foliage, and the lilies and dahlias are already in full bloom. There is plenty to see, plus our usual excellent cream teas and plenty of undercover space, and of course, our new addition to the garden: a very pretty pale green greenhouse!”

The NGS is a fantastic organisation, currently in its 85th Jubilee Year and with an incredible 3700 beautiful gardens in which visitors can abandon their cares and enjoy the jewels nature has to offer (plus all the hard work which goes into creating them!).

Many gardens are accessible for those with disabilities; with lots also welcoming dogs (see Martin and Elizabeth’s golden retriever Bonnie at Willows Garden for a very warm welcome!). There is also the option of including a stay at the many Bed and Breakfasts involved, and always the opportunity to complete your visit with a delicious cream tea or homemade cake. A whopping 83% of NGS profits go to charity, so with an intoxicating scent in your nose, delectable naughtiness in your tummy, a vision of vibrant colours capped off by the feel-good factor of putting a few pounds towards helping those in need; there’s plenty there to put a smile on your face!

Check out our NGS events near you by visiting www.hugofox.com and watch this space for our next profile!

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