My garden open for charity

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Over the past 10 years the National Garden Scheme has given over £22 million pounds to charity. All of this money has been raised by people who open their gardens to the public. From spring through until early autumn gardens large and small are opened for a special viewing and in Yorkshire alone there are over 120 gardens that will be doing their bit to help raise valuable funds for charities such as MacMillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Hospice UK, Carers Trust, Parkinson’s UK and Perennial. This year for the very first time we are opening our garden as part of the Yorkshire NGS. It is something that my wife Jill and I have wanted to do for a while, but it was a case of waiting until the garden was ready!

When we moved to our house in North Yorkshire in 2009 the garden was a blank canvas and we started straight away to create a garden. We laid out beds and borders and planted a wide selection of trees, shrubs and perennials. Six years on we now feel the ¾ acre plot is mature enough to open it for the NGS and group visits. The borders have filled out and at this time of the year have plenty of flower and foliage colour. The small orchard is establishing and the vegetable garden complete with polytunnel is growing well. Of course a garden is never finished and only this spring we created and planted more beds and I gave the vegetable garden a make-over by replacing the grass paths with gravel. As far as I’m concerned a garden should constantly change and evolve over the years in order to give you maximum enjoyment. In fact, I’m already planning changes for this winter! Our garden at Thornycroft, in the village of Rainton, YO7 3PH (between Ripon & Thirsk) is open on Sunday 19th July from 11am to 5pm. Tea, coffee and homemade cakes are available, plus plant sales and a tombola with lots of gardening related prizes. Admission is £3.50, children free. I’ll be wandering around the garden all day answering garden questions, so if you are passing, pop in to say hello and help us raise as much as we can for the National Garden Scheme.

Jobs for the week.

Cut down early perennials such as verbascum and lupins to encourage new growth and a second flush of flowers in late summer.

Feed tomatoes and peppers with a high potash fertiliser to help the fruits develop.

Dead head roses as soon as the flowers fade to encourage new flower buds.

Net soft fruit and cherries as the berries start to ripen to keep hungry birds off .

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