Buxton’s ‘secret’ gardens to open their gates for one weekend

Buxton Open Gardens, Jo Holdway
Buxton Open Gardens, Jo Holdway

Buxton horticulturists will once again be showcasing their hard work to the public during the town’s garden trail.

Back for a third year, the Buxton Garden Trail will be welcoming visitors from far and wide for two days on Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10.

Organiser Jo Holdway said: “I absolutely love my garden and it is a pleasure to share that enjoyment with people who share the same passions as me.”

Around 29 private gardens will be opening their gates, and the trail will also incorporate five public spaces.

From big to small gardens, Jo said each will showcase different styles, a feature which makes the trail so exciting for visitors.

She said: “I am always digging out and trying new things, and that’s what it’s all about.

“I moved from Somerset four years ago and have had to change and adapt and find what grows in the Buxton soil.”

This year, Jo’s garden features Italian elements and an Indian influence.

Planning for the trail started back in October and the gardens had to sign and commit to the event six months in advance.

Jo said: “In the depths of winter I was looking out of my window at my garden full of snow and thought that this might be the year when nothing grows, but thankfully that has not been the case.”

The garden trail ties in with the Royal Horticulture Society Chatsworth Flower Show, and last year an extra 200 trail maps were sold.

“There is nothing sweeter than the taste of success,” said Jo.

“Gardeners work hard and are passionate about what they grow so they do want to show off their hard work. The people who visit also have an interest in gardening, which is nice.”

To help secure the future of the garden trail, Tarmac at Tunstead has committed to support the project for three years with annual donations of £750 to help cover the printing costs.

“Their support has been invaluable,” said Jo. “They have also commissioned 35 large blue metal flowers for those on the trail to put in the gardens to help visitors find the correct property, which is just wonderful.”

Help has also been provided by the Buxton branch of Soroptimist International to help with insurance costs.

Jo added: “It is great to see so many people want to get involved, be that behind the scenes or by opening up their gardens.”

There will be refreshments and plant sales in various gardens. Money raised from the sale of trail maps will go to support three charities: Blythe House Hospice, Dementia Care and a befriending group.

• Maps cost £5 and are available from Poole’s Cavern Visitor Centre, The Green Man Gallery and Buxton Tourist Information Centre.