Worthing National Trust Association
The National Gardens Scheme
Lesley Chamberlain, Assistant County Organiser for Sussex, delivered a talk in three parts, each illustrated with photographs.
The first was on the origins of the National Gardens Scheme. Although the scheme came into existence in 1927, its origin lies some 70 years earlier, with the action of industrialist and philanthropist William Rathbone in setting up a school of nursing in Liverpool. This attracted the attention of Queen Victoria who authorised the Jubilee School of Nursing in 1862; royal patronage continues to this day.
Donations principally go to health charities including MacMillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers’ Trust and the Queens’ Nursing Institute. Their guest charity this year is Horatio Gardens. Donations rose from £6,800 in 1927 to over £3.7m in 2015. In all, donations up to 2015 exceed £45m.
In 1926, Elsie Wragg, who oversaw hospitals in the East Grinstead area, suggested opening private gardens to the public as an additional means of raising much-
Lesley then moved on to illustrate on screen some of the many gardens now in the scheme, focusing mainly on those in Sussex. It was surprising how many there are in the two counties including a number in or within easy distance of Worthing.
In the final part of the talk, Lesley told us there are some 3800 gardens currently in the scheme, ranging from the very small -
The Grange, Pulborough
In response to questions, Lesley told us most gardens in the scheme are dog-
We all came away with a copy of the 2017 brochure listing 146 gardens in Sussex, opening times, parking etc.
Overall a very popular talk.
Photographs by kind permission of Lesley Chamberlain
Text by Tony Ede
Parsonage Farm, Kirdford