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Oxton’s secret gardens will open to visitors for one-day charity event

3 weeks ago

Oxton’s secret gardens will open to visitors for one-day charity event
Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton

More than 20 homes in Oxton are opening up their gardens for one day to raise money for local charities.

Secret Gardens of Oxton is now in its 23rd year, with green fingered residents revealing their handiwork to visitors on a trail around the village.

This year’s event will be on Sunday May 12, between 10am and 5pm, when well over 4,000 people are expected to head to Oxton to get exclusive access to gardens of all sizes and designs.

Roads will be closed off to allow crowds to wander around the conservation area and there’ll be 28 craft stalls on driveways, open studios, Mount Pleasant and outside Oxton Bar & Kitchen, plus food stalls, entertainment and activities for children.

Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton
Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton

A total of 22 gardens will be open, including new additions and some from past years which are taking part again after a break.

Kirsty Cotton, one of the organisers of Secret Gardens of Oxton, says it’s become the biggest annual one-day event in Wirral, raising thousands of pounds for good causes.

This year it will be supporting three charities – Shaftsbury Youth Club, Wirral Women & Children’s Aid and Friends of Birkenhead Kennels.

“Last year we raised £38,000 and we’re very proud that it’s become such a great day out,” she says.

Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton
Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton

“It is a real team event, we have about 20 volunteers including some who’ve been involved from the beginning, and we start planning in October or November of the previous year because we close off the village to traffic so there are a lot of logistics to consider.”

Kirsty says one of the main attractions of the trail is the opportunity to look into so many different gardens that are people’s pride and joy.

“The work that goes into them is incredible and we have a really good mix – some are beautiful large wow gardens and some are gorgeous little cottage gardens that aren’t big but they’re really pretty. 

Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton
Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton

“Lisa, who organises the trail with me, opens her garden every other year and it’s full of vintage signs so it’s really quirky.

“There’s something for everybody, you never know what you’re going to find, and it gives people ideas for their own gardens whatever the size.”

Even though the event has grown in popularity each year, especially since it returned in person post-Covid, Kirsty says there are still plenty of new features to see.

Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton
Credit: Secret Gardens of Oxton

“People who open their gardens every year do try and tweak them a bit and we’ve got two brand new and an additional five that haven’t opened for at least five years so there’s lots to keep it interesting even for visitors who come regularly.”

For anyone coming from outside Oxton, there’s a free car park on Oxton Fields on Storeton Road, with a mini bus to take people into the village. On the day you trade your online ticket for a programme which has a map in then just follow the trail.

Tickets are £8 in advance from the Oxton Society’s website here, or £10 on the day, and the good news is the weather forecast is looking fine! 

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