HAVE you ever visited or driven through a Cotswold village or town and wondered what gardens lie behind the Cotswold stone walls or pretty wisteria?

I know I have and when I moved to Winchcombe three years ago I finally got the chance to see when I visited the Winchcombe open gardens day for the first time and saw first-hand some of the amazing gems hidden behind tiny doors and some of the huge natural vistas which some could borrow from behind their properties.

Winchcombe is a wonderful Anglo Saxon settlement which has a huge mixture of old and new properties, the town sits nestled between Cheltenham and Broadway with imposing and beautiful hills on all sides which only adds to its natural charm. The people who open their gardens are kind and very helpful with your questions, often keen to show you around and be so proud of their wonderful spaces.

I can remember being shocked at some of the small gardens as they packed in so much looking like picture postcards and just being totally jealous of some. How large,beautiful and tranquil they were. My own garden is too small for a tree, but every garden should have a tree, right? … well I learnt how to “borrow” one from the external view that day!

I took inspiration from these gardens…granted some in a very small way as my own little piece of heaven isn’t quite as big as some, but none the less I could steal an idea here and there to make my own garden feel bigger and added a few …oh ok, a lot of new plants some of which I had never seen before!

The Winchcombe open gardens day is on Sunday June 11 this year from 2-6pm and at only £5 for entry into 17 gardens in and around the town it is great value for money. (Under 12s free).

It’s an afternoon to spend with friends and family touring the route leisurely around town visiting each garden, taking some snaps of the vistas, stopping for what I can only describe as, superb tea and cakes…maybe buying a few wonderful plants to take home and remind you of your day.

The superb, much photographed, Dents Terrace which is normally a Private terrace, will open for the afternoon giving you the chance to view the wonderful work the residents do on their individual plots as well as a fantastic view from the end of the terrace of their allotments leading down to the river.

Tickets and maps are available to purchase at the Winchcombe tourist information office. You can also buy tickets on the day from any of the open gardens or from the Back-Lane car park by the library. (SAT NAV ref GL54 5PZ)

All procceds from the day will go to the preservation of the Grade I listed St Peters Church in the heart of the town. Registered charity number: 1046434