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Bournville gardens to open to the public for first time

It’s the Birmingham village credited as laying the foundations for latter-day garden cities thanks to its tree-lined streets, open spaces and generous gardens.

Now some of Bournville’s finest gardens are to be showcased to the public for the first time ever to help raise money for a host of good causes.

Six gardens will open on Sunday 10th July to visitors as part of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), which has donated more than £45 million to its nominated beneficiaries and partners since 1927.

Visitors will be able to tour a Mediterranean-inspired garden, restored cottage garden, a wildlife-friendly plot and a garden where ‘jungle meets cottage-style’.

Selly Manor Museum, managed by Bournville Village Trust, will showcase its beautiful Tudor-style garden with wildflowers, vegetable plots and a maze.

Also opening will be a garden featuring fruit trees dating back over 100 years – planted by Bournville’s creator George Cadbury to help boost residents’ health.

The opening has been spearheaded by housing association and charity Bournville Village Trust in close partnership with residents and NGS.

Theresa Gordon, Community Services Co-ordinator at Bournville Village Trust, said: “We have always supported and celebrated residents who make their gardens beautiful and interesting, stretching back to when our founder George Cadbury hosted gardening classes and competitions.

“The National Gardens Scheme is the ideal way to develop this long-standing tradition further by sharing some of Bournville’s hidden treasures for the enjoyment and appreciation of others.

“We hope the event not only brings in ardent National Gardens Scheme followers but local residents too who may be inspired by the gardens they see and the vision of George Cadbury and his brother Richard.”

Sue Adams, who is opening her garden for the scheme with her husband Mike, said: “When we read about local gardeners being invited to take part in the NGS open day we thought it was a great way to celebrate Bournville gardens and raise money for charity at the same time.

“We think this is an exciting new idea for a community event and we’re really looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors and exchanging gardening tips on the day.”

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the NGS, said: “We are delighted that a group of gardens is opening for the first time in support of the National Gardens Scheme in Bournville.

“It is such an iconic place in the history of British community planning and I know that visitors will be fascinated to see its wonderful combination of open space, parks and private gardens that are now over 100 years old and were such a pioneering project when first laid out.”

Admission is £5 for all six Bournville gardens and can be paid at any of the gardens taking part in the day.

Gardens can be seen in any order between 11am and 5pm and a walking trail between them will be available for visitors.

Gardens that are opening are: 39 Hawthorne Road, 32 Knighton Road, 143 Oak Farm Road, Selly Manor Museum in Maple Road, 8 Sycamore Road and 63 Witherford Way.

Bournville was created in 1895 by George Cadbury and his brother Richard and a strong emphasis was placed on providing large gardens, parks and open spaces.

The average size of gardens in the early years of the Village stretched to 600 square yards and by 1913 there were thought to be 1,100 gardens in Bournville.

It was calculated that the average value of the fruit and vegetables produced in gardens was 2 shillings, 6 pence each week.

For further details about the gardens opening for the National Gardens Scheme in Bournville, visit the NGS website http://www.ngs.org.uk/gardens/find-a-garden/Garden.aspx?id=33349

*Please note that Bournville Bread Basket on Sycamore Rd will be open for refreshments on the 10th July 2016*

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