First Ever National Open Gardens Day Launched

As part of this year?s National Gardening Week (13?19 April), gardens all over Britain that normally charge for entry or are closed to the public will be opening their doors for free on Friday 17 April in a unified effort to engage more people with the UK?s great gardens.

The aim of National Open Gardens Day is to raise awareness of the diversity, richness and cultural value of the UK?s gardens and encourage new segments of the public to experience and value them. The four RHS Gardens are leading the campaign with many RHS Partner Gardens, some National Gardens Scheme gardens and many more joining the campaign and opening on the day. Please check www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk for details of events before confirming your plans.

Colin Crosbie, Curator at RHS Garden Wisley, said: ?The UK?s gardens are as valuable, beautiful and important as our museums and national parks and should be just as cherished. They provide people with enjoyment, relaxation and delight, and give urban dwellers green spaces. Gardens educate people about biodiversity and food security, and preserve our great plant collections. British gardens, in particular, attract tourists to our shores and provide employment to thousands.

?We are extremely lucky to have so many beautiful and diverse gardens in the UK and would like as many people as possible ? particularly those who are new to garden visiting ? to enjoy and value gardens and join the celebrations on National Open Gardens Day.??

National Open Gardens Day is taking place during National Gardening Week, which was launched by the RHS four years ago and has grown into one of the UK?s largest celebrations of gardening. Last year more than 240 events were held during the week at gardens, museums, community groups and parks across the UK. The success of National Gardening Week is set continue this year with the RHS, National Trust, RSPB, NGS and hundreds of gardens, retailers, gardeners and charities planning activities, events, giveaways and openings.

National Gardening Week and National Open Gardens Day are supported by a collaboration with upcoming gardening-themed period drama A Little Chaos, which is directed by Alan Rickman and stars Kate Winslet as a 17th-century landscape gardener. Visitors to selected gardens on National Open Gardens Day will get a chance to win tickets to the film, which premieres on 13 April and opens in UK cinemas on 17 April.

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