After a year’s absence, Winchelsea’s Secret Gardens opened again for the National Garden Scheme on 19th June 2021.
900 visitors came to the town to enjoy a socially-distanced viewing of twelve Winchelsea gardens. The last opening was in June 2019. In all, £6,300 was raised for the charities that the National Garden Scheme supports – almost all in the field of nursing and health.
From this total, £465 was for Friary Gardeners, a project working with handicapped adults that started in Winchelsea and is now based in Hastings. Most of their team had been shielding during Covid so they weren’t able to bring their usual plant stall
Catering arrangements had to be different this year, and the town set to to make cup cakes which were served with tea on the cricket field outside the New Hall rather than within.
It rained for two days before and a lot of rose petals were lost, but the general consensus was that the gardens were as good as they have ever been and, in quite a few cases, the best ever.