Open Garden program offering a great weekend in Cambridgeshire

A property that was once the home of renowned landscape architect Capability Brown will open next weekend as part of the National Garden Scheme, one of the busiest weekends of the year for gardening.

In the garden of the manor house in Fenstanton are two 300 year old apple trees bought by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, widely regarded as the finest gardener and landscape architect of the 18th century.

The garden has been restored by its current owners in a formal style, laid out around a series of rooms with pleated linden trees, an avenue of Himalayan birches and cottage planting.

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Stately Home, Fenstanton. (56821688)

It is part of ‘Fenstanton’, a new group opening for The National Garden Scheme in 2022 which also includes 5 Church Lane, which sits behind the oldest house in the village and is full of foliage attractions including hostas, succulents and ferns. The two gardens will be open on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May from 12pm to 5pm.

The National Garden Scheme offers visitors unique, affordable access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, raising impressive amounts of money for care and health organizations through entrance fees, tea and cakes.

A spokesman said: “Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, we have donated over £60million to care and health organisations. Founded in 1927 to support district nurses, we are now the UK’s largest not-for-profit nursing funder. Our beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Manor House, Fenstanton (56821691)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Manor House, Fenstanton (56821691)

“The National Garden Scheme not only opens beautiful gardens to charity – we are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens. We fund projects that promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and in 2017 we have our annual Gardens and Health Week to raise awareness of the issue.”

In stark contrast to the formal gardens at The Manor House, seven gardens from the Cambourne Group will open on Sunday 29 May from 11am to 5pm, showing what can be made in a few years from initially unpromising new-build plots .

These include 43 Monkfield Lane, the home of National Garden Scheme team member Penny Miles in Cambridgeshire, who said: “This is really going to be a great weekend for gardeners west of Cambridge.

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Greenhaze Lane, Cambourne (56821700)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Greenhaze Lane, Cambourne (56821700)

“The opening of Fenstanton is a real treasure but I have to say I’m also very proud of our Cambourne group. Some of the ideas are very creative and the whole opening has a great vibe that reflects how much we all love living here,” she said.

Further north, Island Hall, Godmanchester promises glorious river views on Sunday 29 May when the 3 acre site opens from 10.30am to 4.30pm. The Island Hall is in a tranquil setting by the River Ouse and its gardens have been restored to a formal 18th-century design.

A Chinese bridge over a Saxon mill race, an ornamental island planted with Princeton elms, and plenty of shapely topiary are all part of its appeal.

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Island Hall, Godmanchester (56821694)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Island Hall, Godmanchester (56821694)

Visits to all of these openings can be booked online at ngs.or.uk or paid for at the gate.

This weekend is the last opportunity to visit Acer Heaven in St Ives and showcase its collection of 90 Acers for a month. The program’s national website offers a virtual tour of this garden: https://ngs.org.uk/28-houghton-road-cambridgeshire-acer-heaven/. Visits are by appointment only: findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/35906/28-houghton-road

Meanwhile in Buckden the now famous garden at 23A Perry Road is open by appointment until September. The garden, with its eclectic displays of rare and unusual plants, was featured on BBC Gardeners World earlier this year. Visits are also available by prior arrangement: findagarden.ngs.org.uk/garden/25094/23-a-perry-road

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Monkfield Lane, Cambourne (56821703)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Monkfield Lane, Cambourne (56821703)

Proceeds from all openings benefit the care and health organizations supported by the National Garden Scheme. More than £60,000 has been raised in Cambridgeshire for the 2021 scheme, part of more than £3 million raised nationwide.

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the National Garden Scheme has donated over £60m to care and health organisations. Founded in 1927 to support county nurses, we are now the UK’s premier charity supporter of nursing. Beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open up beautiful gardens for charity – it’s also passionate about the physical and mental benefits of gardens. They sponsor projects that promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and launched an annual Gardening and Health Week in 2017 to raise awareness of the issue.

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Greenhaze Lane, Cambourne (56821697)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Greenhaze Lane, Cambourne (56821697)

To find your perfect garden visit ngs.org.uk, download the National Garden Scheme app or purchase the National Garden Scheme’s Garden Visitor’s Handbook which is published annually and is available via ngs.org.uk/shop and available from all good booksellers.

Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: (56821709)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: (56821709)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Monkfield Lane, Cambourne (56821706)
Cambridgeshire Open Gardens 2022: Monkfield Lane, Cambourne (56821706)



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