Gardens of England and Wales Open For Charity, also known as "The Yellow Book" (because of the colour of its cover), is a guidebook published by the National Gardens Scheme, a registered charity. The book contains approximately 3,300 garden entries, 24 full-colour photos, and 47 maps giving the locations of mostly private gardens that open their doors, for charity, to visitors on certain days of the year.
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Gardens are chosen to provide a minimum of 45 minutes of interest and most also exhibit some unusual feature, such as a national plant collection. The gardens range from intimate city courtyards and cottage plots to sweeping landscapes. Herb, alpine, vegetable, water, Japanese, walled, and moated gardens are part of the variety available for viewing.
The gardens are grouped alphabetically by English counties, with Wales in its own section. At the beginning of each county, there is a calendar summary of the days gardens are open and a map for that county. Thus, you can plan a day around the gardens open in a specific area, making the best use of your travel time. Then turn to each entry for a description of the garden and its plants, precise location, opening hours, phone numbers, and information related to such items as children's play area, refreshments, plants stalls, handicapped accessibility, cost of entry, etc. Some gardens allow picnics. Others have beautiful woodland walks. Garden lovers should note that the largest number of gardens are open during June. An index is provided at the back of the book listing each garden.
It is nice to note that more than 110 gardens are open in the evening. For horticulturists, there are specialist plant openings and sales
Gardeners can find inspiration and advice to take home. Those without gardens can just relax and enjoy the wonderful sights and smells of others' labour. From tulips and azaleas in the spring to summer annuals, there are gardens to enjoy throughout the seasons. This invaluable book has all the information you will need for visiting Britain's gardens. In fact, it's a necessity for all garden lovers traveling to England and Wales, where a rich gardening heritage waits to delight visitors.
GardenFinder, a search and mapping facility at NGS provides even more information and photos of the gardens. The "Yellow Book" is for sale at all major bookstores or may be ordered from NGS
Another book published by the National Gardens Scheme is of particular value to gardeners. Making Gardens, a celebration of gardens and gardening in England and Wales, contains practical information of coping with gardening challenges. It contains chapters by leading garden writers and experts. More than 250 photos and planting plans are included.
Also highly recommended for garden lovers is the Museum of Garden History
National Gardens Scheme is located at
Surrey GU4 7RT
Tel: 01483 211535
National Gardens Scheme