Petworth’s ‘secret gardens’ open to the public

Lewis Golden inside his walled garden
Lewis Golden inside his walled garden

Sixteen ‘secret’ gardens in Petworth opened to the public earlier this month, bringing in a welcome £1,400-plus for the British Red Cross.

The event was organised by Joanna de Vos of the Petworth Red Cross Centre.

Open to view were all sorts of gardens, which no one driving through Petworth or even walking along its historic streets, would imagine existed behind its imposing buildings and high stone walls.

“Large and small, traditional and modern, closed-in courtyards and sweeping vistas – we had the lot,” Mrs de Vos said.

“After people had seen them, teas were available at the Red Cross Centre.”

An estimated 300 people took advantage of the Secret Gardens open invitation and the money was raised, including the tea takings, in just four hours.

It will go into British Red Cross funds to help the charity’s work in the UK and abroad.

“Some of it will come back to us for the medical loan centre in Petworth, and also through the Home from Hospital service that the Red Cross runs here,” Mrs de Vos explained.

“It has been running in Petworth for about a year now and offers volunteer support to people, particularly those living on their own, who have just come home from hospital.”

Secret Gardens is an annual event for the Red Cross in Petworth.

Mrs de Vos said: “We are very grateful to the garden owners for their continued support for the charity.”