Norfolk gardeners join in 90-year celebration of National Gardens Scheme
PUBLISHED: 17:25 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:25 18 January 2017
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From large historic parks to cottages and courtyards Norfolk boasts some of the most beautiful gardens in the country.
Some are old and traditional, whilst others are modern or naturalistic, but all showcase the green-fingered talents of their owners.
This year 66 gardens in Norfolk and 54 in Suffolk will be open to the public for the National Gardens Scheme as it celebrates its 90th year.
The NGS was founded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute in 1927 to raise money to support district nurses in England and Wales.
It has become the biggest ever funder of both Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie, having donated £15.75m and £7.8m to each. Last year it appointed celebrity chef Mary Berry as the new President. She has opened her garden for the scheme for over 20 years.
Norfolk NGS has the support of The Queen at Sandringham while other garden owners include not only the descendants of the country’s first Prime Minister Robert Walpole at Houghton Hall and Mannington Hall, and the Bishop of Norwich.
The scheme is also fortunate to have the beautiful gardens at East Ruston Old Vicarage, home to NGS Ambassador Alan Gray.
Last year Neil and Anthea Foster celebrated a 50-year association with the NGS at Lexham Hall, near Litcham.
Mr Foster’s mother Jean, a keen plantswoman, opened Lexham for the first time for the NGS in 1966. When he took over the estate from his mother in 1989 Mr Foster and his wife Anthea continued to develop the gardens introducing an extensive range of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias as well as serving on the committee.
Every year the NGS produces a ‘yellow book’ detailing all the gardens open across the country.
The 2017 Norfolk NGS booklet for the county’s open gardens will be launched at Silverstone Farm in North Elmham on Tuesday, February 7, by kind permission of George Carter.
To find out more about gardens open for NGS this year visit the website www.ngs.org.uk
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