Hertfordshire's secret gardens

PUBLISHED: 01:15 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:03 20 February 2013

From tiny courtyards to pretty cottage gardens and historic gardens, 50 gardens are open this year across Hertfordshire for the National Gardens Scheme in the famous 'Yellow Book'. Philippa Pearson reviews the gardens

A new season of garden visiting is upon us and where better to find the best places to visit than the new NGS Yellow Book. This bible of garden visiting has over 3,700 gardens listed this year, 50 of them in Hertfordshire, with many private gardens that are not otherwise open to the public. Some gardens offer refreshments and plants for sale plus by visiting them youll also be doing your bit for charity as the money raised goes to good causes. The Yellow Book is available now, priced at 8.99 from www.ngs.org.uk or from all good bookshops. Full descriptions of all the gardens including directions, admission and opening times are in the book or search online at the NGS website. Make sure you take a notebook with you when you visit to jot down plant names!

Town gardens
7 Byng Road, High Barnet EN5 4NW
Sunday 12th September 2-5pm
A small front and rear garden packed with plants.

207 East Barnet Road, New Barnet EN4 8QS
Visit by appointment
Tiny courtyard garden crammed with plants.

19 Lancaster Road, St Albans AL1 4EP
Sundays 16th May and 11th July 2-5.30pm
Medium-sized well stocked garden with lots of coloured foliage.

1 Nathans Close, Welwyn AL6 9QB
Sunday 13th June 2-5.30pm
Plant enthusiasts garden with island beds, pond and gravel areas.

Patchworks, 22 Hall Park Gate, Berkhamsted HP4 2NJ
Sundays 2nd May and 22nd August 2-5pm
Sloping garden with fragrant and colourful planting

Scudamore, 1 Baldock Road, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3LB
Sunday 6th June 12-6pm
Family garden with mature trees, pond and stream, wild area and formal area.

14 Spooners Drive, St Albans AL2 2HL
Sunday 18th July 2-5.30pm
Interesting suburban garden with mixed planting, wildflower area and pond.

9 Tannisfield Drive, Hemel Hempstead HP2 5LG
Sundays 9th May and 8th August 2-6pm, Saturday 31st July 2-7pm
A creatively planted small town garden with shade and gravel areas and mini orchard.

Evening openings
Amwell Cottage, Amwell Lane, Wheathampstead AL4 8EA
Friday 2nd July 6-8.30pm
Informal large cottage garden with orchard, roses, yew hedges and woodland pond.

44 Broadwater Avanue, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3HJ
Friday 13th August 6-9pm, also Sunday 15th August 1-5pm
Pretty plantswomans town garden crammed with unusual plants.

10 Cross Street, Letchworth Garden City SG6 4UD
Friday 23rd July 6-9pm, also Sun 25th July 2-6pm
Heritage cottage garden with herbaceous borders, ponds, greenhouses and apple walk.

35 Digswell Road, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7PB
Friday 23rd July 6-9pm, also Sunday 25th July 2-5.30pm
Town garden with Piet Oudolf inspired borders, island beds and exotic planting.

Rustling End Cottage, Rustling End, near Codicote SG4 8TD
Friday 30th April 4-8pm, also Sunday 25th and Wednesday 28th April 2-6pm
Country garden with wildflower meadow, cottage garden with contemporary planting, vegetable garden.

Stressa, 126 The Drive, Rickmansworth WD3 4DP
Fridays 28th May and 25th June, 6.30-9.30pm, also Sunday 25th July 2-5.30pm
Plantsmans garden with gravel front garden, shady rear garden.

The Walled Garden, Radlett Lane, Shenley WD7 9DW
Fridays 14th May and 18th June 6-8.30pm
Two acre walled garden on three levels with fine views.

Group openings
Bayford Musical Gardens Day, Bayford SG13 8PX
Sunday 6th June 11.30am-5pm
A dozen gardens open from cottage style to formal layouts plus live bands and stalls.

Beesonend Gardens AL5 2AN
Sunday 25th July 2-6pm
Three gardens within walking distance of each other in different styles.

Furneaux Pelham Gardens, SG9 0LD
Sunday 20th June, 2-6pm
Two diverse gardens open, Furneaux Pelham Hall and The Old Vicarage.

High Elms Gardens, Harpenden AL5 2JU
Sunday 16th May 2-5.30pm
9 High Elms and The Spinney open, two very different gardens.

Jenningsbury Gardens, Hertford Heath SG13 7NS
Sunday 30th May 2-5.30pm
Three varied gardens from courtyard to plantsmans garden.

Oakridge Avenue Gardens, Radlett WD7 8EW
Sunday 25th July and 5th Sep, 2-6pm
Two varied gardens in pretty village near St Albans.

Saint Stephens Avenue Gardens,
St Albans AL3 4AD
Sunday 6th June 2-6pm
Two totally different gardens in the same street.

Serge Hill Gardens WD5 0RY
Sunday 20th June 2-5pm
Two stunning gardens which include RHS award-winning designer Tom Stuart-Smiths.

Country andcottage gardens,historic estates
The Abbots House, 10 High Street, Abbots Langley WD5 0AR
Sundays 2nd May, 29th August 2-5pm
A garden of rooms with many different styles and moods.

Ashridge, Berkhamsted HP4 1NS
Sunday 20th June 2-6pm
190 acres of garden based on Humphrey Reptons 1813 designs.

Bennington Lordship, nr Stevenage SG2 7BS
Sunday 27th June 12-6pm
7 acre garden with lakes, roses, herbaceous borders and kitchen garden.

Bromley Hall, Standon, Ware SG11 1NY
Sunday 13th June 2-5.30pm, Monday 14th June 11am-5pm, Sunday 3rd October 2-5.30pm
Four and a half acre garden with traditional and contemporary planting areas. Good autumn colour.

Capel Manor Gardens, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 4RQ
Saturday and Sundays 13th/14th March, 16th/17th October 10am-5pm
30 acres of historical and modern themed gardens.

Croft Cottage, 9 Church Green, Bennington SG2 7LH
Sunday and Monday 4th/5th July 1-5pm
Cottage garden with pretty planting.

Great Sarratt Hall, Sarratt, Rickmansworth WD3 4PD
Sunday 30th May 2-6pm
4 acres of varied planting including specialist conifers and rare trees.

Hatfield House West Garden AL95NQ
Friday 16th July 11am-5.30pm
Scented garden with fountains, knot garden and formal gardens

Hopleys, High Street, Much Hadham SG10 6BU
4 acres of informal island beds packed with plants.

Knebworth House Gardens SG1 2AX
See website for opening times
Historic gardens and woodlands walks.

106 Orchard Road, Tewin AL6 0LZ
Sunday 27th June 2-6pm
Country garden with interesting 1935 style planting and orchard.

Pelham House, Brent Pelham SG9 0HH
Visit by appointment
Three and a half acre formal country garden with lots of bulbs, trees, shrubs and perennials.

Queenswood School, Shepherds Way, Brookmans Park AL9 6NS
Sunday 30th May 11am-6pm
120 acres of informal gardens and woodlands, good rhododendrons.

Ragged Hall, Gaddesdon Row, nr Hemel Hempstead HP2 6HJ
Sunday 2nd May 2-5pm
Lovely spring garden with tulip displays.

2 Ruins Cottage, Ayot St Lawrence AL6 9BU
Saturday 12th, 2-7pm, and Sunday 13th June, 2-6pm
Contemporary cottage garden with interesting architectural features.

St Pauls Walden Bury, Hitchin SG4 8BP
Sundays 11th April and 20th June 2-7pm
60 acres of formal woodland garden with excellent plants and features.

Shaws Corner, Ayot St Lawrence AL6 9BX
Sunday 6th June 12-5.30pm
Historical garden of George Bernard Shaw complete with his writing hut.

Thunderidge Hill House, Cold Christmas Lane, Ware SG12 0UE
Sunday 23rd May 2-5.30pm
Well-established two and a half acre garden with lovely views and a good variety of plants.

Waterdell House, Little Green Lane, Croxley Green WD3 3JH
Sunday 27th June 2-5.30pm
Large walled garden with varied range of planting.

West Lodge Park, Cockfosters Road, Hadley Wood EN4 0PY
Sundays 16th May 2-5pm and 24th October 1-4pm
35 acres Beale Arboretum with 800 varieties of trees and shrubs.

New for 2010
47 Bournehall Avenue, Bushey WD23 3AU
Sunday 27th June 2-5pm
Medium-sized village garden on three levels including sunken garden, pond and potager.

Great Stone, near Buntingford SG9 0AD
Sunday 15th August 2-5pm
Two acre country garden with herbaceous borders, lavender walk, wooded area, pond, orchard, vegetable garden and greenhouses.

Kingfishers, 49a High Street, Watton at Stone SG14 3SX
Sunday 27th June 2-5.30pm
Long narrow town garden with pond, cottage and Mediterranean planting, vegetable beds.

Peace Haven, 10 Fairgreen East, Hadley Wood EN4 0QR
Sunday 27th June 2-5pm
Front and rear all seasons garden with unusual plants, pond and wildlife area.

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