The Rock House, Llanbister mid Wales


Welsh gardens are flying the flag for the launch of the National Garden Scheme’s Support Our Gardens Appeal. 

 Despite having to close its garden gates for the first time in its 93-year history under current government guidelines on Coronavirus, the National Garden Scheme today launched a new scheme that will keep its stunning gardens virtually open through the coming weeks and raise funds to replace lost income from gardens not opening. 

 Virtual garden visits, many filmed by their owners, will be hosted on the National Garden Scheme’s website and delivered direct to the nation’s inbox via the charity’s weekly eNewsletter with links via its social media channels. A longer, featured garden visit will be posted every two weeks while a library of shorter, owner filmed tours will be curated each week.  

The stunning gardens at Woodlands Farm, Monmouthshire with its tumbles of white cherry blossom and the serene beauty of the settings of Gorsty House and The Rock House in Powys star in the first release of virtual garden visits.  Gorsty House owner, Annie Frost, also offers a tutorial on how to keep your daffodils in tip top condition year on year. 250 gardens were due to open across Wales this season and more will be opening for virtual visits soon. 

 Mary Berry, President of the National Garden Scheme, who launched the Support Our Gardens Appeal in her own garden said:  

 “This wonderful organisation has been inviting people to open their gardens to raise funds for nursing and health charities for more than ninety years. During that time it has given away nearly sixty million pounds. Also during all that time, the gardens have never had to close – not even during the Second World War. That is until now. 

 “Right now people are not able to visit the gardens and there is no money being raised. In fact, as things are, the charity’s income is likely to be down by 80% during 2020. 

 So a team at the National Garden Scheme made up of garden owners, volunteers and staff have organised a marvellous campaign which we are launching today. 

 “Garden owners have recorded videos of their gardens to make a series of ‘virtual visits’ and we are inviting everyone who might have visited a garden to watch a virtual visit instead and think of giving a donation to the charity. 

 “I think it’s a fantastic idea, typical of the resourcefulness which has kept the National Garden Scheme going for over ninety years and I urge you to support the campaign generously and enjoy the stunning gardens.” 

 National Garden Scheme CEO, George Plumptre added: “The wonderful content that we are sharing while our gardens are closed provides an inspirational reminder of exactly why gardens and gardening are so important to us all. And, with your continued support while we are virtually open we hope to ensure that we continue to open the gates to exceptional gardens, champion gardens for health, and support some of the most vital nursing charities in the country for many years to come.” 




Queen’s Nurses have been supported by the opening of private gardens to the public since 1927 when the QNI founded the National Gardens Scheme,  so I am delighted to see that people can continue to enjoy these beautiful gardens – albeit virtually – and continue to raise money for Queen’s Nurses who are leading and delivering expert nursing care to patients in every village, town and city during this pandemic. 

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive, Queens Nursing Institute 

“We are really excited for the launch of the National Garden Scheme’s Support Our Gardens appeal, promoting virtual garden visits in aid of Hospice UK and other beneficiary charities. 

 Hospice UK and the National Garden Scheme have been working together for almost 25 years, since 1996, and during this time the partnership has raised more than £5 million for hospice care, a phenomenal amount. The National Garden Scheme is the largest funder of Hospice UK’s work and we are incredibly grateful to the 3,700+ garden owners, volunteers and visitors who continue to support hospice care during this crisis, with creativity, innovation and a great passion for the nation’s wellbeing. Thank you all!’  

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive, Hospice UK 

“The innovative new Support Our Gardens appeal is just one example of why our partnership with the National Garden Scheme has continued to flourish over the last 36 years, with the National Garden Scheme donating over £17.7million to Macmillan in that time. Their support and our ongoing partnership, at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is already having a devastating impact on charities, will go some way to help Macmillan continue to be there for those who need us most, right from the point of diagnosis.  

“By visiting stunning gardens across the UK virtually and making a donation, you’re able to help the National Garden Scheme and it’s fantastic beneficiaries to provide support to those who desperately need them as charity services come under enormous strain.” 

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Support 

Garden visits at launch 

·         Woodlands Farm, Monmouthshire – under the glorious cherry blossom 

·         The Rock House in Llanbister – a place of sanctuary 

·         Gorsty House, Powys – daffodils and glorious views 

·         Godinton House, Kent – guided by CEO George Plumptre  

·         Great Comp, Kent – a walk among the magnolias   

·         Riverhill Himalayan Garden, Kent – a leisurely visit guided by the family – watch out for the cake! 

·         Whitstable, inspiring everyday gardens in a seaside setting 


Gardening tutorials at launch 

·         Planting out sweet peas from Griselda Kerr at The Dower House, Derbyshire  

·         Creating a spring centrepiece from Tina Barber at Mulberry House, Herefordshire  

·         Looking after your daffodils from Annie Frost at Gorsty House, Powys 




Each week, on a Thursday, we will release a new collection of virtual garden visits. You can find them – and the full collection – the National Garden Scheme website here: 


You can sign up to receive weekly information about the virtual garden visits direct to your inbox here: 


You can follow the National Garden Scheme on: 

Instagram @nationalgardenscheme 

Twitter @NGSOpenGardens 

Facebook @NationalGardenScheme 


Our appeal hashtag is #SupportOurGardens 


You can donate to the ‘Support Our Gardens’ appeal here: