Garden delights for Hospice Care

Whitton Grange, near Rothbury.
Whitton Grange, near Rothbury.

The therapeutic value of gardens will be seen in more ways than one this summer as six stunning grounds open up for charity.

Hospice Care North Northumberland is running its Open Gardens Scheme again this year to raise much-needed funds for its work supporting adults, carers and families whose lives are affected by cancer, dementia and other life-limiting illnesses.

Six private garden owners are taking part in the initiative, with the first two opening up on Sunday.

The Carr-Ellison family, of Hedgeley Hall near Powburn, will throw open their gates from 2pm to 6pm, letting visitors inside to view their notable rhododendrons, with some specimens dating back to the 19th century.

There are also woodland walks, herbaceous borders, a sunken garden and rose-covered walls to explore.

Also on Sunday Lord Ridley will open the grounds of Blagdon Hall, near Seaton Burn, from 1pm to 5pm.

The estate, which has been in the family since 1700, includes a quarry garden, lake, arboretum, woodland walks and follies.

Classic cars will be on display and there will be music from The Bridge Singers.

On Sunday, June 11, from 1pm to 5pm, it is the turn of Glanton Pyke, owned by John and Claire Swanson, offering exceptional views of the Cheviots and Whittingham Vale, a variety of plants, trees and shrubs, greenhouses, a maze, quarry and Italian gardens.

John, a trustee of Hospice Care, said: “We open our gardens just once a year and have been doing so for the last five years to raise money for this fantastic, hard-working charity.

“Including donations on the day we raised over £10,000 last year and hope to top that at this year’s open event.”

Tom and Miki Fairfax will open Mindrum House gardens at Cornhill-on-Tweed on Sunday, June 18, from 2pm to 5pm. It is a much-loved family garden, with walks and views across the Bowmont Valley.

Homemade teas and plant stalls will be at all of the above, while well-behaved dogs are welcome.

The scheme continues on Saturday, July 1, when John and Maggie Monaghan welcome visitors to Whitton Grange, near Rothbury, with afternoon tea by the Running Fox, champagne and music from The Smooth Operators jazz band. Tickets are £20, from

Finally, the Davidson family will open their country garden at Lilburn, standing above the River Till, on Sunday, July 9, from 1pm to 5pm.