Exclusive gardens open to public

Over 160 of London's historic spaces to open.

This weekend will see one of the biggest mass openings of the country’s most exclusive, secret and secure private gardens and squares. More than 160 historic spaces in the capital will be unlocked and thrown open to the public as part of the event run by the London Parks & Gardens Trust. They include Kensington Roof Gardens, Chelsea Physic Garden and Britain’s most exclusive private gardens and squares in Knightsbridge and Belgravia. They also include the prisoners’ garden at Wandsworth Prison. The event is sponsored by Loire Valley Wines and many of the gardens will host wine tasting events. Organisers hope to beat last year’s visitor total of around 20,000. One of the spaces, Cleary Garden in the City, has been transformed by the wine company into an aromatic sensory garden with plants native to the Loire Valley. The event has been running for 10 years and cash from the £6 or £7.50 tickets pays for the upkeep of some of the green spaces. “Gates to key-holder squares in Belgravia and Kensington will creak open to give a peak of life in the great outdoors for some the richest residents,” said a spokeswoman. Karen Liebreich, co-ordinator for Chiswick House Kitchen Garden, said: “The garden is being restored from a neglected wreck and we want it open up to the public more.” The event has been running for 10 years and cash from £6 or £7.50 tickets pays for upkeep pf some of the green spaces.

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