Open Gardens

Last updated on July 3rd, 2017 at 02:59 pm

Walsham-le-Willows Open Gardens

Pink house with black wooden slats on front, church sticking up in background, loverly lawn infront with parts of garden; plants, trees and a hedge

On the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday of August each year over 30 gardens in Walsham-le-Willows are open for your viewing pleasure.

Some purple flowers growing from a bush that’s growing up a tree with a lawn in the background.The weekend is not just about the gardens but also live music, art exhibitions, a farmers market, craft stalls and plant stalls and of course, delicious refreshments in two venues, the Memorial Hall  and the Priory Room where wonderful light snacks, lunches, teas and cakes (and especially the meringues!) are provided by people from the village.

Visitors come not only for the gardens but also the appreciation of the calm and serenity that is created by the event over the two days.

Looking up at some yellow roses.The Walsham-le-Willows Open Gardens Weekend will celebrate its 37th Anniversary Year in 2017 and can certainly claim to be one of the best, longest running and most successful Open Gardens events in East Anglia and probably the country.


The idea for the Open Gardens in Walsham was first suggested by the thenVarious plants in a garden, including some pink roses, infront of a well trimmed hedge. Blue sky. vicar of St Mary’s Church, the Rev. John Rutherford but credit for the ongoing developments of the Open Gardens event must be given to the late Hilary Russell, a plantswoman whose extraordinary energy and leadership is looked upon as being the reason why so many visitors now come to Walsham-le-Willows on the Sunday and Monday of the August Bank Holiday.

Chairman Robin Newell deserves a special mention for his untiring efforts and organisational ability, as does the late Dr Alec Russell who gave so much help to his wife and who was the original Chairman of the organising committee.  The weekend relies on the hard work of lots of people and every year there are over 200 local people involved in one way or another.

Funds raised at the Open Gardens are for village Part of a small, nice back garden with back of house. A bird bath is visible.causes and most importantly the maintenance of the fabric of St. Mary’s Church, a magnificent example of a typical 15th Century East Anglian Church and worth a visit in its own right.  So far over £120,000 has been raised by Open Gardens for the church.

A photography competition is also part of the event.

Image of blue cornflowes in white vase on table loooking through open gate in red brick wall out to The Street beyond
Winning Photograph 2015

Photographs in jpg format of activities during Gardens Weekend can be sent  to Mike Unitt.  A hard copy can be put in the Observer box at Rolfes of Walsham.

Prizes are £40, £20 and £10 for first, second and third places, respectively.

Please be aware that the Gardens Weekend committee reserve the right to use any photographs submitted for promotional purposes.


The Open Gardens Weekend events has many sponsors without which it would not be so successful. Find out more on the Open Gardens web site.


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