Many garden writers describe their participation in this pursuit – as a visitor themselves, or as the host.
Mirabel Osler lamented: ‘Visiting gardens is a recurring pleasure; unfortunately for the majority of us it takes place just when we are most needed in our own.’ A Gentle Plea for Chaos (1989)
Beverley Nichols summed up his feelings as a host in Garden Open Today (1963):
'…Opening one’s garden is an event that is attended by a certain amount of drama – the sort of quiet domestic drama in which the tension gradually rises, and reaches a climax on the eve of the great day, when the posters are nailed to the garden gate…..This pre-opening atmosphere of tension is heightened by the behaviour of the garden itself; quite invariably everything is either too backward or too forward, and one has visions of oneself spending the afternoon doing a super Ruth Draper act…’If only you had come last week!’ ‘If only you could see it in a fortnight!’
The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) ‘Yellow Book’ lists dates the gardens are open. This year 3,800 gardens will open and help the NGS raise £2.5 million for charity. Garden opening dates are also listed on the web.