Helen Dillon’s garden in Dublin which I visited a couple of years ago

Only a short post this week in which I wanted to share with you one of my favourite activities. Now that spring is well underway and summer is almost upon us, the season of open gardens has begun. If you like gardening this is a wonderful way to get ideas for you own garden, as well as enjoy a bit of tea and cake, which is always enough of a temptation for me to persuade Mr Simple to come along as well.

The National Garden Scheme is a great British institution which enables ordinary folk to open their garden to the general public, all in the name of charity. Whether you’ve got three acres or a courtyard garden, it is open to everyone. My favourites are when there are several gardens open in a village or town. You can take your sandwiches and spend the day taking in the heady smells of roses or sweet peas and feasting the eyes on cottage gardens bursting with colour.

The average price is about £5. If you choose wisely, and as I said, find a group of open gardens, this is really good value. With the gardener on site there is the opportunity for a chat with like-minded individuals whose brains you can pick about their gardening tips. Often there are plants for sale, usually grown from cuttings from the gardens that you are visiting.

So if you fancy it, have a look on line or keep an eye out for the booklets which they produce, usually covering a couple of counties. You might see them in your local library. And have a great day or afternoon out, savouring what the best British gardens have to offer. And try not to each too much cake!