Lavenham places spotlight on hidden garden gems

Lavenham Secret gardens
Ella, Jessica and Grace Iliffe from Newton Green
Picture Mark Westley
Lavenham Secret gardens Ella, Jessica and Grace Iliffe from Newton Green Picture Mark Westley

Large and small gardens, hidden from sight behind homes dotted around Lavenham, brought delight to visitors’ last weekend.

Lavenham’s Hidden Gardens has been running for more than 20 years but organisers say the scale and beauty of the hidden gems behind village homes still take visitors by surprise each year.

Lavenham Secret gardens
Barbara Sutcliffe and Anna Robson enjoy the roses
Picture Mark Westley

Lavenham Secret gardens Barbara Sutcliffe and Anna Robson enjoy the roses Picture Mark Westley

Martin Weaver, chairman of Lavenham Community Council, which runs the event to raise money for village facilities, said: “The gardens range from tiny courtyards to large spaces.

“It’s called hidden gardens, rather than open gardens, because people are still wowed by the fact they never knew how far some of the gardens extended, especially when the houses are so close to the road, or how peaceful and tucked away they are.

“We often hear people turn the corner of a garden and say ‘wow’.”

Nearly 30 gardens were on show to the public, with at least 470 visitors counted.

Lavenham Secret gardens
Wendy and Andrew Butcher at the bottom of Water Street
Picture Mark Westley

Lavenham Secret gardens Wendy and Andrew Butcher at the bottom of Water Street Picture Mark Westley

Shops and tea rooms in the village stayed open and there were stalls set up by villagers selling items for charities and local organisations.

This year, children had fun taking part in a hunt to find ladybird signs hidden around the gardens and the village, claiming a prize on completion of the trail.