AS the evenings begin to draw out, the gardeners among us start to turn their thoughts to the busy time of the spring and summer ahead and there is a band of about 60 enthusiasts in Worcestershire who will once again be opening their gardens on set days and an extra 24 by appointment to the public and raising funds for a host of well deserving causes.

Some of those gardens are already available to visit by appointment – Barnard’s Green House, Poolbrook Road, Malvern, formerly the home of Charles Hastings, founder of the British Medical Association; and Brockamin on the Old Hills at Callow End both opened in February and can be visited up until October. Visit for opening times.

Others will come later in the year as their particular displays of flora reach full glory. You only have to visit one of these gardens to realise the love and hard work that goes into creating such spectacular beauty and the generous-spirited nature of the owners to open them up to complete strangers as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS).

The NGS started 91 years ago and is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country, donating over £50 million so far. Garden owners open their beautiful gardens to the public, sharing their passion and raising impressive amounts of money through entry fees, teas and slices of cake.

The beneficiary charities are The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Carers Trust, Hospice UK, Perennial, Parkinson’s UK and other guest charities.

Spetchley Park Gardens on the edge of Worcester was one of the first gardens to join the NGS in 1927 (the third to be precise) and is the oldest NGS property in Worcestershire. It was featured in a Channel 4 programme last year called “All Gardens Great and Small” celebrating the 90 years of the NGS.

At the recent Worcestershire NGS annual garden owners’ meeting, it was revealed that the gardens of Worcestershire made just under £80,000 of clear profit in 2017 and 82 per cent goes directly to the charities.

Publicity officer Pam Thompson who, with her husband Alistair, opens her own Pear Tree Cottage garden at Wichenford near Worcester, says one of the main reason people do it is because so much of the money raised goes directly to the good causes - the rest goes to run the NGS.

And there are some truly dedicated NGS supporters among the Worcestershire garden owners. Julia and William Scott, of the Walled Garden, Fort Royal, Worcester, received an award for their 20 years of opening and Celia Hitch of Rectory Cottage, Alvechurch, near Redditch, had an award for 10 years, while the retiring treasurer Cliff Woodward held that position for 15 years and handled more than £1 million in his time in office.

Little Malvern Court, Little Malvern, is opening this Friday March 9 and every Friday until March 23 from 2pm to 5pm as part of the scheme and Spetchley Park Gardens opens on Friday March 30 from 11am to 6pm.

Anyone interested in joining the NGS to open their garden can get more information by visiting or contacting the Worcestershire county organiser David Morgan on 0121 445 3595.