Check out these gardens at the weekend

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The summer holidays are wonderful for spending lots of time with children and grandchildren, but it can sometimes be hard to find activities that will keep little ones entertained and at the same time won’t break the bank.

So why not visit a National Gardens Scheme (NGS) garden? There are almost 500 gardens open across England and Wales during the Summer Holidays, many of which don’t charge for young people under 16 years of age.

All NGS gardens are inspiring, uplifting places, guaranteed to keep the family entertained for an afternoon.

The benefits of NGS gardens to young people are many: a new place to explore, fresh air and beautiful colours to enjoy, and the opportunity to learn about plants and nature first-hand.

George Plumptre, chief executive of the National Gardens Scheme, said: “NGS gardens provide the perfect setting for families to relax and enjoy each other’s company in, and are also very good value for money. We hope many families will visit NGS gardens over the Summer Holidays.”

On Sunday, July 26, there are several great examples of a great family-friendly garden opening in Derbyshire. Children get free entry.

Wharfedale, 34 Broadway, Duffield, Belper DE56 4BU, owned by Roger & Sue Roberts is a renowned plantsman’s garden with over 500 varieties and rare specimens designed in 12 distinct areas flowing seamlessly from naturalistic planting through tropical, single colour schemes, Italianate walled garden, woodland with pond and raised oak walkway and Japanese landscape garden with stream, moon gate and pavilion. The front cottage garden has a new winter shrub area underplanted with colourful summer meadow native plants and any rare space is filled with 34 pots of lilies. Marble, stone, wood and steel sculptures punctuate the garden with comfortable seating to relax. Roger has recorded highlights every day of the year on his website. This is an eclectic garden offering lots of ideas with the useful feature of every plant being labelled. Open 11-5pm. Admission £3. Home made cakes and refreshments.

Askew Cottage, 23 Milton Road, Repton, Derby DE65 6FZ, owned by Louise Hardwick, a Garden Designer, who has created a rear garden comprising several different areas all connected with flowing curved paths. Cloud box hedge, a circle of meadow grass, trained apple trees, a wildlife pond, bog garden and kitchen garden are attractive elements of the design. Open 2pm-5.30pm. Admission £3. Refreshments available.

Byways, 7A Brookfield Avenue, Brookside, Chesterfield S40 3NX, owned by Terry & Eillen Kelly, is a very colourful garden with established perennial borders, 30+ acers, rock and alpine areas and a plethora of hostas and fuschias in containers. All to be enjoyed in 5 seating areas with home made teas. Open 12.30pm-5pm. Admission £3.

The Cottage, 25 Plant Lane, Old Sawley, Long Eaton NG10 3BJ, owned by Ernie and Averil Carver, is an exquisite cottage garden bursting with colour in herbaceous borders. There is a summerhouse in a walled sheltered garden. An interesting extra is a Victorian nursery and maid’s room (£2.50). Open 12.30pm-5.30pm. Admission £3.

8 Curzon Lane, Alvaston, Derby DE24 8QS, owned by John and Marian Gray, is a mature garden packed with perennials, shrubs and small trees featuring tropical planting, ornamental and wildlife ponds, large patio, container planting and potager garden. Open 1-6pm. Admission £2.50. Teas available. See

Visitors to NGS gardens will also have the benefit of knowing that their entrance fee is supporting wonderful causes; since its foundation in 1927, the NGS has donated over £45 million to nursing and caring charities, including Marie Curie and Carers Trust.

Details of all NGS gardens opening over the Summer Holidays can be found on the NGS website at