Ringstead gets set for 34th Open Gardens

Villagers in Ringstead are set to stage their 34th open gardens event on Sunday.

This year the village has also entered Anglia in Bloom for the first time, with judging due next month.

Open gardens include one tended by the Village Club, whose members' average age is over 75.

They are doing their bit with a plant stall and have been tending a plot around the post box which they have crammed with cheery perennials.

At its peak, the event has drawn more than 1,000 visitors and raised more than �6,000 in one afternoon.

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Visitors from all over the region have traditionally flocked to Ringstead to sample its charms and some visitors have travelled from as far as Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire.

The gardens include that of Apple Tree Cottage. As well as the two acre garden which is crammed full of cottage garden plants, Apple Tree Cottage will be hosting a plant stall, ice creams and quality bric-a-brac. Janet England, one of the helpers, said: 'Everyone works incredibly hard but it's great fun too and worth it on the day. People are always very kind and generous and if you are fortunate enough to live somewhere as lovely as Ringstead it's good to be able to show it off.'

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The Bury will be another attraction and of particular appeal to history lovers as the ruins of the old round tower Church of St Peter stands in the grounds and will be open to visitors for this one special day only.

The Old Rectory has a stunning garden and will again be hosting the fine lunches which have become such a major attraction. Event co-ordinator Sara Stocks, who works as a chef, is busily preparing a tasty menu to serve to as many as 150 diners. And to entertain guests while they relax in the grounds of the 17th century Rectory, there will also be live music.

Afternoon tea will be served on the lawns at East End Farm to the cheery tunes of the Fakenham Town Band, where in previous years the numbers served have topped 600. Other attractions at East End Farm include cream teas, crafts, a cake stall and raffle.

The church will be dressed in its finery for the occasion with a flower festival taking place over the whole weekend and will offer another stop off point for refreshments.

Once again, a minibus courtesy of the Glebe School will be on hand to ferry less agile visitors from one garden to the next!

Admission is �3 adults for all gardens, children free, gardens open 1pm – 5pm.

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