As you read this the final preparations are being made here to make sure ‘Charnwood’ looks at its best for when we open to the public on the afternoons of Sunday 23 and 30 of this month. One thing is for sure, I will be panicking about something! I guess in many ways it may seem a bit odd to invite everyone into your private space, but in my experience it is always worthwhile. To share your precious plants with like -minded folk is a real pleasure; the community of gardeners is unfailingly both appreciative and generous spirited. If you don’t believe me go to a Tollerton Garden Club, such lovely folk.. We opened through the National Garden Scheme (NGS) for the first time in 2010. If you have seen the programmes with Carol Klein where a formidable (usually female) garden organiser turns up to pass unsmiling judgement on your garden, that is nowhere near the beginning of our journey into the yellow book. It was made very easy for us by a kind woman who made some very generous observations about our garden and asked us to change absolutely nothing. The NGS team have been supportive and kind to us ever since. The NGS has been opening gardens for charity since 1927 and this year nearly 4,000 gardens will be open through the scheme. Charities supported include MacMillan and Marie Curie, £22 million has been donated to charity in the last 10 years. Because of my connection with South Wolds Academy I am allowed to give a proportion of funds raised to Friends of South Wolds, it is they who provide wonderful teas. I will also have a plant stall, weather and rabbits permitting! Other gardens open locally through the NGS in June include Baxter Farm at Willoughby on 9 June, Bingham Gardens on 16 June and Riseholme in Shelford on the evening of 19 June. Copies of the yellow book are on sale in all decent bookshops, or you can go online to www.ngs.org.uk or email me if you would like more details. So back to the mowing, watering (if dry), staking (if windy), weeding, slug and lily beetle patrols and general nurturing. Please come and visit if you can, it would be great to see you!