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Gardens open to usher in the spring

PUBLISHED: 09:55 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:34 07 July 2010

The stunning parkland and gardens of Lexham Hall will open early again this year as part of the National Gardens Scheme to show off its stunning carpet of snowdrops.

The stunning parkland and gardens of Lexham Hall will open early again this year as part of the National Gardens Scheme to show off its stunning carpet of snowdrops.

It is one of a number of gardens open to the public as the first of the seasonal flowers mark the impending end of the winter during January and February.

The gardens of C16th/17th hall, owned by Neil Foster and his wife, have an extensive collection of scented, winter flowering shrubs and woods carpeted with snowdrops.

There is parkland with lake and river walks, formal garden with terraces, yew hedges, roses and mixed borders and a traditional kitchen garden with crinkle crankle wall.

The three-acre woodland garden has azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, spring bulbs and fine trees.

Light refreshments will be available, admission is £4, children free, on Sunday, February 7 from 11am to 4pm.

Also open will be the gardens of Bagthorpe Hall, west of Fakenham, where home-made teas and organic soups will be served.

Admission there is £3.50, children free, on Sundaym February 14, 11am to 4pm.

In total nearly 90 gardens will be opening to the public through the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) in January and February during these months.

The charity is expected to help raise more than £100,000 for charities, which include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices and Crossroads Cares through the openings.

Visit www.ngs.org.uk for full details of all the NGS early opening gardens.

The 2010 Yellow Book, which costs £8.99, is now available for pre-order for despatch in early February by visiting the NGS website.

Founded in 1927, the NGS has donated more than £25 million to charity in the last 10 years.

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