This year’s open gardens event in Highburton and Kirkburton is being hailed as the “best ever” after raising £4,500 for local charities.

The event, on Sunday 1 July, saw 20 gardens and other sites open up for visitors to enjoy a range of special features including lawns, rose beds, rockeries, Japanese-influenced plots, allotments and ponds. It was interesting to visit gardens open for second or third time and see how they were developing and changing, with several new gardens, large and small, added to the range.

Whilst the weather was glorious for the visitors, who enjoyed the sunshine on the day, the gardeners had had to work extra hard during the dry spell beforehand to keep their gardens looking so lush.
Venues which were not private gardens, were opened including the memorial garden where visitors could see the progress being made on the changes to the memorials. and also All Hallows’ churchyard where the team explained how they are working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to have various graves marked as War Graves.

Guests also enjoyed 29 individual performances from local musicians at venues across the villages. These included folk groups, a string quartet, the local HD8 voices in colourful attire, and other singers.

The event raised over £3,500 for three main charities: Kirkwood Hospice, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Kirkburton and Highburton Community Association. A further £1,000 was raised by individual gardens from refreshment and plant sales, for charities of their choice.

Local resident, Chris Dean, was involved in organising the event, as well as hosting guests and musical entertainment at his home. He said: “What a wonderful day; it really was the best Open Gardens event we’ve ever done. It was organised by a dedicated group of local gardeners and talented musicians.

A huge thank you must go to all those that made it a success, including organisers and visitors. We couldn’t have put on such a great day, and raised so much money for worthy, local causes, without you.”

Several of the venues offered refreshments to visitors and the foodie highlights included:

  • Pulled pork sandwiches at Yew Tree Cottage behind the church in Kirkburton
  • Butterfly buns from Forge Cottage on Far Dean – (there was a request to put the recipe for these in the Burton Baker section of the next edition – if you made them could you send in the recipe, please, along with a photo?)
  • The Askhams’ bacon sandwiches at Linfit Lane were rated the best ever.

Credit is also due for the programme and map for the event which were very comprehensive and made it easy to plan a route round the villages.