volunteers from a South Tyneside museum were the first to explore a newly-opened garden for charity.
The women from Bede’s World in Jarrow took part in the National Garden Scheme (NGS), in which homeowners open up their green spaces to the public – and raise vital cash for charity.
Liz Reid invited 70 ladies to her home in Woodlands, Springwell Village, Gateshead, which has a tropical theme.
She said: “I got such a buzz out of sharing the garden with people who so obviously enjoyed it – and at the same time raised money for charity.
“Feel good and have fun – what could be better.”
Founded in 1927, the NGS has raised almost £43m since then, and more than £22m in the past 10 years.
Mrs Reid’s event raised £600 for charity, through the sale of cakes, plants and a small entry free.
However, the organisation is looking for more South Tyneside gardens to get involved with the initiative.
Kathryn and John Moor, of Glebe Farm in Moor Lane, Whitburn, are the only residents in the borough who take part.
In recent years, they have raised more than £5,000 for good causes.
Maureen Kesteven, NGS county organiser, said “The NGS is the biggest single annual donor to Macmillan, Marie Curie, Help the Hospices and the CarersTrust – all of which are very active in South Tyneside.
“Glebe Farm makes a fantastic contribution, but we need more gardens to help raise money for these charities that touch so many of our lives.
“However, gardeners here do not seem to be coming forward to show off their talents.
“Gardens don’t have to be big, just interesting and well maintained, and our local team is happy to advise on how to bring gardens into the NGS scheme.”
“Throughout the country, 3,800 gardens open for charity for the NGS.
“Surely we can match the rest of the country in our gardening expertise.”
If you would like to open your garden to visitors, call Liz Reid on 07719 875 750.