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Open gardens: Previously unseen Essex gardens in Arkesden and the Chesterfords to welcome visitors in June



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Unseen gardens in the north-west corner of Essex will be open for visitors to explore in June as part of the National Gardens Scheme.

The new entries include a garden designer's grounds in Arkesden and five areas in Great and Little Chesterford, along with the village orchard and allotments.

On Sunday (June 6), people will be welcomed into Stocksmead, a near one-acre plot in Arkesden which has four distinct garden areas: a Mediterranean-inspired gravel garden, a colour gravel garden, a traditional perennial garden and a structural evergreen garden.

Stocksmead in Arkesden, which opens on June 6, is a plot of almost an acre
Stocksmead in Arkesden, which opens on June 6, is a plot of almost an acre

All are immaculately kept and with something of interest for everyone. Stocksmead will be open from 11am to 4pm. Admission is £5 for adults while children go free.

Three properties in Great Chesterford and two in Little Chesterford will open their gates on Sunday June 13 from 1pm-5pm.

Bank Cottage and Manor Cottage, both in Little Chesterford, have delightful cottage gardens full of summer flowers, fruit trees and vegetables.

The rose arch at Bank Cottage, Little Chesterford, one of five gardens open on Sunday June 13
The rose arch at Bank Cottage, Little Chesterford, one of five gardens open on Sunday June 13

Visitors can then take a short walk along the River Cam to Bishop's House, Geldards and Wearns Folly in Great Chesterford which showcase a range of styles and sizes, all delightfully planted with lots of ideas to inspire keen gardeners.

Home-made teas will be available at Great Chesterford Community Centre from 2pm to 4pm. Admission to all five gardens in the Chesterfords is £8 for adults and children free.

And on Sunday June 27, Old Bell Cottage and Wickets, both in Langley Upper Green, will welcome back visitors who can enjoy glorious views of the Essex countryside.

Old Bell Cottage has traditional herbaceous borders and raised beds for vegetables and a fruit cage. Wickets is full of roses at this time of year and the wild flower meadow should be at its best. There is also a new Mediterranean courtyard and parterre enclosed by espalier apples.

A glorious view of Wickets, Upper Langley, which opens on Sunday June 27
A glorious view of Wickets, Upper Langley, which opens on Sunday June 27

Home-made cakes and drinks will be available at Wickets. The admission price of £7.50 for adults is for both gardens on that day and, again, children are welcome free of charge.

All garden openings are subject to coronavirus restrictions in place at the time. Visitors are advised to check the details of the gardens they want to visit and to book online on the National Garden Scheme website at www.ngs.org.uk before travelling.



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