By Elizabeth Rankin

As regular readers of this magazine know, Dulwich garden openings for charity are now in full swing. The Society has produced an annual booklet with details of the openings for over 15 years, with copies distributed to all members as an insertion in the Spring Journal as well as to local garden centres and other outlets, all with the aim of supporting the garden openers and the charities that they support, as well as promoting gardening locally.

The brochure has been produced since 2014 by Ann Rutherford. Ann has been opening her own magnificent garden in Dulwich Village twice a year for over 20 years now, originally in aid of Save The Children and latterly for a range of charities including the National Garden Scheme (NGS - which distributes money raised to a wide variety of national charities). After ten years opening for the NGS, Ann was presented with a ceremonial trowel, and after twenty years, a matching hand fork.

As you can see when you visit Ann’s garden, and indeed all the gardens in the brochure, enormous amounts of work and care go into the preparation of a garden for opening, and that is just the garden - teas and cakes, children’s trails, art exhibitions and live music are also offered at many of the gardens. Plant sales at many of the gardens are terrific for a range of interesting plants not commonly seen in garden centres. These garden openings have raised substantial amounts of money for local and national charities over the years, as well as providing lovely summer outings for local residents.

Do visit some of these gardens, with many cottage and formally - planted gardens looking at their very best in June, and tropical gardens in full bloom towards the end of the summer - they’re a great source of ideas and make for an enjoyable outing.

For green fingered readers with thoughts of opening your own garden for charity, Ann is always looking to find new gardens to include in the brochure. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information if you are considering it. Copies of the brochure can be downloaded from the Gardens section of the Society’s website,