Looking for garden inspiration? Here are some of the places you can visit in the Harborough area in the coming weeks

The garden at Oak Tree House will open to the public this weekend.
The garden at Oak Tree House will open to the public this weekend.

Oak Tree House, in South Kilworth, is one of many opening its gate for the National Garden Scheme this summer.

It will open this Saturday (June 22) from 1pm to 5pm and Sunday (June 23) from 11am to 5pm. The owner, Pamela Shave, is the county organiser for Leicestershire who leads a small group of volunteers overseeing all the gardens open in the region.

Anyone interested in opening their garden should pop along and speak to Pamela about joining the scheme.

Oak Tree House first opened in 2007 and is constantly changing. Highlights of the garden include large herbaceous borders, an arched pergola clad in roses and clematis, a formal pond, an area for vegetables, a border devoted to shade-loving plants and a spinney.

The garden is full of potted plants and various sculptures, including a new stone rondo by the Cumbrian sculptor, Danny Clahane. There are large collections of hostas and scented-leaved pelargoniums whose leaves smell of orange, lemon, and even peppermint.

Around the garden there are various seating areas and benches where visitors can sit to enjoy the views while they taste a selection of cakes and homemade scones with clotted cream.

Entry is £4 for adults, children free, with all money going to the beneficiaries of the National Garden Scheme, including Macmillan, Mary Curie, Hospice UK and this year’s guest charity, Mind.

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 and raises money for nursing and health charities. To date it has donated over £58 million.

A huge 80p in every pound raised in gardens goes straight to the beneficiaries. Last year the gardens in Leicestershire raised more than £60,000.

For full details of this and other gardens open in Leicestershire, visit ngs.org.uk
July is a great time to visit gardens when they are in full bloom and summer colour

Every time people visit a garden under the National Garden Scheme, they are donating to a charity which is a major contributor to nursing and cancer charities.

Next month there are more than 40 gardens open in Market Harborough, Lutterworth and the South Leicestershire area, many of which are wheelchair accessible, dog-friendly and have free admission for children.

Opening on July 3 (also July 10, 17, 24 and 31) is the lovely garden at Stoke Albany House (LE16 8PT), four acres of country house grounds with sweeping lawns, mature trees and colourful herbaceous borders. The many scented roses will be in bloom, there is also a parterre, Mediterranean garden, heated greenhouse, water gardens and plenty of relaxing places to sit and enjoy the garden views.

The weekend of July 6–7 is busy for Wigston Gardens (LE18), a group which open their varied gardens starting with the unique wildlife garden at 7 Little Dale on July 6th. A maturing wildlife-friendly garden with a meadow lawn, and a new pond. Entry to this garden includes a visit to the nearby 28 Gladstone Street, a town garden divided into gardening ‘rooms’, including a pond, unusual perennials, David Austin-scented roses, a shade garden and hosta theatre.

On July 7, 7 Little Dale opens again together with 40 Rolleston Road, a nearby town garden with a willow arbour, mixed beds, a scented archway and borders packed with colourful plants.

On July 7, people can visit great allotments and get growing tips by visiting the Harborough Allotments (LE16 9BB). There are two allotment sites: Stevens Street with over 130 plots growing all types of veg, fruit and flowers, ponds, wildlife area and small orchards; and Northampton Road which has 50 plots with polytunnel. There will be a demonstration of compost making and a chance to meet allotment holders. There are wide paths and the sites are wheelchair accessible.