Open Your Garden for Charity - Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts


Keen gardeners know that one of the more enjoyable things about having a wonderful outdoor space is the joy of sharing it with other people. If you have a lovely garden, we want you to join our project and open your garden to an appreciative audience. 

In the UK, the National Garden Scheme (the Yellow Book) does precisely this and since 1927 has raised many £millions for worthy causes. Surprisingly, there was nothing comparable in France until 2013 when the Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts project initiated a trial with 4 gardens open for 1 day in the Creuse and raised €300.

Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts now has over 120 gardens in 26 départements and continues to grow. This year we'll raise over €15,000 and we fully expect this to increase from year to year. 

Generally speaking, gardeners are modest about their own garden and the most commonly heard cause for concern is “My garden isn’t good enough”. In most cases, this is not the case; gardens don’t need to be weed-free and owners have no need to worry about those wobbly lines on their pristine lawn. Our visitors will greatly appreciate your efforts and the fact that you have kindly opened your garden.

But it is not just about showing your garden, because, by so doing you will help contribute towards funding charitable causes in France. The bulk of the money raised is currently donated to a charity which organises activities for children in remission from cancer or leukaemia, but because our income has greatly exceeded our expectations, we were able to support 4 other charities in 2015 and expect to increase the number of beneficiaries in 2016.

All we ask is that you are prepared to open for a minimum of 1 day a year and, ideally, in conjunction with other local participants, which will greatly increase the appeal.

If you wish, you can also offer refreshments and/or plant sales which will add to the funds but this is not obligatory. For your open day(s), you will be provided with everything you need – laminated direction arrows, posters to put in your local cafés and other prominent places, leaflets and flyers to publicise the project. 

Many gardeners will also have a local co-ordinator to answer questions, provide support and co-ordinate local open days. If this appeals to you, we would love to hear from you. It is a particularly exciting time for Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts and we want you to be a part of it, no matter where you live in France.

Please contact: Mick Moat 
Tel: 05 55 63 43 12