Country & Garden: Cuttings

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TIME WAS when private gardens were only open to the public, under the National Gardens Scheme, in spring and summer. In recent years, in response to popular demand, many now open at selected times in October as well, for late-flowering perennials and autumn colour. If this Indian summer continues, something may be salvaged from what has been a disappointing season for garden visiting.

You need to dust down your copy of this year's Yellow Book, or retrieve it from the glove compartment of the car, and refer to the dates of garden openings at the beginning of each county entry. My recommendations include Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire (18 October, 11am-5pm); The Old Rectory, Burghfield in Berkshire (28 October, 1-4pm); Cowley Manor, near Cheltenham (4 October; 2-6pm) and Bourton House Garden, Bourton-on-the-Hill in Gloucestershire (29 October, 12-5pm); Bulwick Rectory, Northamptonshire (4 October, 2- 5pm); Coates Manor, Fittleworth, West Sussex (18 & 19 October, 11am-5pm); Bryniau, Boduan, Gwynedd (4 October, 11am-6pm); and, for Scotland's Gardens Scheme, Meikleour House, by Blairgowrie (18 October, 2-5pm).