|In 1927 the National Garden Scheme, or NGS as we know it now, was born as a way to raise funds for district nursing all over the country. People were invited to tour certain local gardens for the cost of ‘a shilling a head’, with the money going to various nursing and caring charities.
In the first year, some 600 gardens were opened. Today, around 3,700 gardens – many of them privately owned and opened for just a few days each year – are listed in The Yellow Book, the annual guide published by the National Garden Scheme.
In 90 years the NGS has donated no less than £50 million to various charities, including The Queen’s Nursing Institute, Marie Curie and Macmillan Cancer Support, to name but three.
Of that £50 million, £25 million has been donated in the last ten years.
| Froyle is proud to have several gardens open each year under the scheme, as you will see below. Until 2017 we believed that the village had been associated with the NGS for some twenty years or so, but, while researching further, we were surprised to discover that Sir Hubert Miller, the Lord of the Manor from 1868 until 1940, was one of the first to open his garden under the scheme.
“The Shrubbery House”, shown left, was Sir Hubert’s home in Froyle for his adult life. Situated on the modern A31, it was originally a river keepers cottage and, over the years, was expanded greatly.
The smaller photograph shows Gerald Robinson and others from Sir Hubert’s Estate working on the gardens at “The Shrubbery House” in the 1930s. Gerald was Gardener to Sir Hubert for many years and we like to think that he might actually be working on the garden in readiness for one of those first “Gardens Open”.
|We have found an earlier entry in the Western Gazette of July 25th 1930
stating that “The Shrubbery House” garden would be open on August 6th that year. We wonder if this could be the first time as Sir Hubert’s name was spelt incorrectly as Sir Herbert!