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A month by any other name would smell as sweet

by Michael Ford last modified 21 May, 2019 06:02 PM

It's all change for the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral’s 'Secret Gardens of the Close': this year’s popular event is taking place in June instead of May, following requests from the public to see the gardens during the rose season.

The 11 gardens, including five new ones, will be open on Sunday 9 June from 1pm to 5pm.

The Friends are hoping for fine weather and a bumper turn-out of visitors for this major fundraising event to enable the 2018 total of nearly £11,000 to be surpassed.

The money raised last year is being used to sponsor a prominent pinnacle on the north-east corner of the cathedral, which will be unveiled later this year.

Tea and homemade cakes will be served in the garden of South Canonry – the home of the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam and his wife, Helen. Proceeds from the teas will go to the Sudan Medical Link.

The Medieval Hall is the venue for an exhibition of botanical art by Salisbury Florilegium Society and visitors will be able to spot artist Cliff Topping sketching in a number of the gardens.

Recorder group Close Consort will be playing and there will be stalls on Choristers’ Green, including the Friends’ own plant stall.

Friends’ chairman Captain Duncan Glass said the public’s response to the first three Secret Gardens of the Close afternoons had been overwhelming and he hoped visitors would support this year’s event in even larger numbers.

“Once again many of those who live in the Close have kindly agreed to support the Friends’ charity by opening their, usually unseen, gardens to the public for our special day,” he said.

“Each year this event attracts more interest from locals and visitors, with more than 1,100 attending last year.

“This event enables the Friends to make additional grants to the cathedral and we look forward to welcoming everyone on 9th June.”

Entry to the Secret Gardens of the Close event is £10, with children under 16 free. The donation includes an entry programme and admission to all featured gardens. It is payable on the day from the Friends’ gazebo on Choristers’ Green or at South Canonry.

Garden visitors are advised to use city centre car parks, as parking in the Close is for disabled badge holders only and a charge is payable.

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