We welcomed over 1,900 people of all ages to Open Gardens weekend and in warm sunshine (only slightly hindered by a spot of rain and thunder!) enjoyed seeing the beautiful areas of the Cathedral and the Precincts.
Visitors had the opportunity to explore and discover all five historic Canonical private gardens and other areas not usually on view. In addition to the gardens and green spaces, visitors had the rare chance to visit the Bastion Chapel in the Memorial Garden.
On Green Court, a spectacular collection of classic cars were on display, and a refreshment tent provided a variety of homemade cakes and tea. Honey Bees and birds of prey – Philip the Eagle Owl was a favourite – were on display, and there were stalls from a number of organisations including Fairtrade and the Plant Heritage scheme.
The weekend was also marked by the opening of the new Friends’ Garden, to celebrate their 90th Anniversary. The garden was opened by the Dean of Canterbury and Lady Kingsdown, a long-standing Friend.
Over the weekend, a staggering £14,000 was raised, and will be shared between NGS charities and the two Cathedral chosen charities – the Meru Women’s Garden Project in Kenya which is a collaboration between child.org, Soroptomist International Great Britain and Ireland and the women of Meru; plus KRAN – the Kent Refugee Action Network.
Winner of a hamper, the prize in the Fairtrade raffle, was Mr Robert Jones who was “made up” when told he had won by organiser of the Cathedral Open Gardens event, Emma Clarke.