Take a look inside this garden in Sheffield which has been named ''one of the five most inspirational small gardens in England'
Over the last ten years, gardener Marian Simpson has opened her garden to the public many times, raising over £8,000 for charity.
This year, she’s trying something new. On the evening of Friday June 28, the garden is on show to just thirty people, who can enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the beauty of what has been described as ‘one of the five most inspirational small gardens in England’ by Monty Don and has been featured on Alan Titchmarsh’s TV programme.
Marian said: “It’s been lovely having so many people coming to look around.
“That’s always been in the daytime, and at popular times, it can get a little crowded. With just thirty, I can get to chat with everyone, and they can take their time to enjoy the different colours and smells that a garden offers at evening-time.”
Anyone wanting to visit that Friday evening needs to ring in advance to book their places. They’ll be greeted with a glass of good wine, (one of Marian’s other hobbies), and will have plenty of time to talk with her and with each other.
“One of the nicest things for me is watching people talk to each other about different features of the garden, making new friends and even starting some plant-swapping networks.”
The garden, which Marian has worked on for nearly 30 years, includes hundreds of plants, many unusual ones but all, says Marian, well suited to local conditions.
The style, she admits, owes something to her personality; relaxed and colourful with some ‘organised chaos with a little opera thrown in’.
She said: “People have always incredibly kind. I’ve had letters saying it’s the best small- medium garden they’ve seen, even saying they preferred the visit to going to the Chelsea Flower Show.
“It’s not in that league, of course, but even the most experienced gardeners find themselves asking me about something they’d like to try.”
Anyone unable to make the Friday evening is welcome to visit the full open day on Sunday June 30.
Marian added: “There won’t be any wine on Sunday – just the usual teas and delicious cakes.”
Some unusual plants will be on sale on both occasions.
Marian’s garden is at 34 Dover Road, off Ecclesall Road, S11 8RH.
Admission is £5 on the Friday, from 6.30pm to 8.30 pm, and £3.50 on the Sunday, from 10am to 4 pm, with some money going to the National Garden Scheme’s charities, and the rest to Sheffield Cruse Bereavement Care.