A scheme that gives people an insight into the secrets of private gardens has launched its new Norfolk-wide guide.

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With gardens ranging from 30-acres of rambling greenery at Bradenham Hall to small suburban hidden treasures, the National Garden Scheme in Norfolk encourages people to open up their garden’s to the public.

And the 2014 guide is unique in providing pictures of each of the 64 gardens open this year.

BBC Radio Norfolk Garden Party presenter Thordis Fridriksson launched the guide with co-host Alan Gray, and awarded forks and trowels to members who had open their gardens for 20 years and 10 years.

The 27-year-old said: “The Norfolk NGS do so much for charity and the gardeners always make brilliant radio.

“We always mention them in the show and barely a week goes by when we don’t visit one.”

And after raising £85,000 for charity in 2013, yesterday’s launch at Mannington Hall announced an even bigger and better year with eight new additions.

Highlights of this year’s new gardens include two-acres of walled secret gardens at Merchants House in Blakeney open on May 31 and Sui Na Mara — a Tardis-like garden in Bacton, open on August bank-holiday weekend.

Speaking at the launch yesterday, county organiser Fiona Black said: “The 2014 Norfolk NGS Garden Guide is unique in encouraging everyone to get to know their neighbours and community by nurturing an interest in other people’s gardens.

“One day you might visit a garden that has opened on your doorstep, and the next you might be getting to know a gardener in a part of the county you’ve never been to before.

“We are also extremely grateful to the local businesses and owners of public gardens whose sponsorship through advertising allows us to produce and distribute such a high quality and free guide.”

The scheme supports a number of charities, and in Norfolk helps to fund a Macmillan community nurse.

And this year the NGS in Norfolk are searching for volunteers to help steward at open garden events - supporting garden owners by selling tickets and serving refreshments.

Volunteers would be required to help out at one open garden in the year which they could then visit for free.

The free guide is available at county libraries, tourist information centres and most garden centres and nurseries. For more information visit www.ngs.org.uk

Have you got an unusual garden? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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