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BLOG: Open Gardens 2024

A stunning selection of gardens in West Devon, the South Hams and East Cornwall will be opening their gates once again in aid of local hospice care.

St Luke’s annual Open Gardens scheme is launching in March, providing avid horticulture fans the opportunity to explore amazing private plots, large and small, many not usually open to the public, while supporting our end of life care in your local community. All proceeds from the ticket sales will be playing a vital role in helping us to meet the rising costs of our dedicated care teams offering free specialist hospice care, when and where it is needed.

This year’s programme, running through to September and kindly sponsored by NFU Mutual Plymouth, promises plenty of inspiration for keen gardeners, as well as a proper treat for anyone who enjoys a fresh air outing in a beautiful environment.

Wayne Marshall, St Luke’s Open Gardens Co-ordinator, said: “We are really excited to kickstart the 2024 Open Gardens season. We have chosen a diverse selection of beautiful gardens to inspire and delight, many of which are not normally open to the public, so offer a unique insight into garden design.

“This year we are honoured and delighted that the highly successful local artist and St Luke’s patron, Brian Pollard has kindly created such an enchanting image for the cover of our Open Gardens brochure.

“Excitingly, Brian has generously donated to St Luke’s the framed original acrylic painting and we are including it as an amazing prize in our Open Gardens raffle, so be sure to buy your tickets when you visit one of the gardens.”

The artwork is currently on display at Kaya Gallery, Plymouth where you can also buy raffle tickets for either £1 or £5 for a book.

Stretching from the outskirts of Plymouth right across our catchment area in the South Hams, Dartmoor, West Devon and just over the border into Cornwall – from Kingsbridge to Lewdown, there will be a varied selection of popular gardens opening during the season alongside some exciting new additions, including the beautifully unique The Garden House in Yelverton on Thursday 18 April and Wednesday 14 August and Highwell in Churchstow, offering five acres of wonderful garden spaces on Sunday 12 May.

Highlights of the season include a special Easter Sunday opening of Gnaton Hall, near Yealmpton and a familiar favourite of the landscaped grounds of the Grade One listed Flete House, near Ermington, which will be opening on Sunday 28 July between 12pm and 5pm.

There’s no need to book in advance for any of the gardens – just turn up on the allotted date and time and follow the orange St Luke’s signs to car parking and the gardens themselves and pay on the gate with cash or contactless card; tickets cost £6 and under-16s have free entry.

Once again we will be working in partnership with the team at Drake’s Island to provide guided tours. Set in the beautiful surroundings of Plymouth Sound, Drake’s Island boasts unique views across Cornwall, the city and beyond. Funds from the ticket sales will go to St Luke’s, apart from a small booking fee. Tickets will be available exclusively here.

Wayne added: “As a charity, we couldn’t survive without the kindness of all our supporters. This includes everyone who attends our Open Gardens, the big-hearted garden owners who welcome them, and not forgetting our proud sponsors NFU Mutual Plymouth. Together over the last 14 years that the scheme has been running, more than £540,000 has been raised for our patient care, which is incredible, thank you.”

You can pick up a copy of our Open Gardens 2024 brochure and view the full list of gardens on offer at any of our charity shops, at local garden centres and supporting businesses, or you can download it online here.