Visit a Garden

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Happy Earth Day. And if you can't grow a garden then visit one. Wake up and smell the roses and enjoy the beauty of nature on an urban scale. It's easy and fun here in Great Britain. The National Gardens Scheme is a country wide programme that collects funds for charity by asking people to open their garden for a single Sunday afternoon. Garden lovers adore looking at other people's creations; it's a chance to admire, snipe, envy and copy the lives of the rich and famous in the gardening world. Many of the owners provide home-baked cakes and biscuits and tea--ginger cake is a particular speciality (and favourite) and it all goes for a good cause. Here is the great garden voyeur's chance: wander around the loveliest private gardens, chat with the owner, sit and have tea on their patio, they do the clean up--and it's all for charity.

The open gardens, from March through to October, are listed in a small yellow book, available in local book shops and the internet. Every Sunday there are openings ranging from 7 floating barge gardens (July 27, if you are here) to a roof garden on a small house that you have to climb up a ladder to see. If the garden is behind a row house, you can tiptoe through the house to get to the back--an extra plus! Just don't pick the flowers. :: The National Gardens Scheme

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