The Importance of Daffodils: The National Garden Scheme and Marie Curie

National Garden Scheme Manor of Dean Leigh Clapp

National Garden Scheme raising money for charities

Visiting a National Garden Scheme open garden is an affordable and enjoyable way to spend a morning or afternoon. Walking around a garden whether it is big or small can raise the spirits and create a sense of wellbeing.

However, visitors often don’t realise that gardens owners and the people that support them are all volunteers and that every penny raised is donated to health and nursing beneficiaries.

One of the charities that the National Garden Scheme supports is the end-of-life charity, Marie Curie.

In the 27 years the National Garden Scheme has supported Marie Curie they’ve donated over £10million to help Marie Curie provide its end-of-life community nursing service, supporting their nine hospices and funding their information and support service helpline.

Marie Curie services touch many people and their loved ones, its nurses bringing support and companionship to many in a time of crisis. It’s a charity that also stands out from the crowd because of the bright, daffodil symbol that is now synonymous with Marie Curie.

Michelle Martin, Director of Development and Communities at Marie Curie, said: “Daffodils in bloom are one of the first signs of spring. They’re strong, resilient flowers that pop up year after year and they’re a symbol of new beginnings. Their bright yellow colour brings hope for brighter days ahead. The Marie Curie daffodil unites us in our wish for better end of life care for all.”


National Garden Scheme gardens featuring displays of daffodils

Kate Harrison, West Sussex Publicity Officer for the National Garden Scheme, suggests three West Sussex National Garden Scheme gardens featuring displays of daffodils opening in April.

Newtimber Place, Newtimber BN6 9BU: Beautiful C17 moated house (not open). Gardens and woods full of bulbs and wild flowers in spring. Herbaceous border and lawns. Moat flanked by water plants. Mature trees, wild garden, ducks, and fish. Open for the National Garden Scheme Sun 16th Apr 2pm – 5.30pm . Admission £6, children free. Book online at or pay on the day. Bignor Park

Pulborough RH20 1HG: 11 acres of peaceful garden to explore with magnificent views of the South Downs. Interesting trees, shrubs, wildflower areas with swathes of daffodils in spring. The walled flower garden has been replanted with herbaceous borders. Open for the National Garden Scheme Tue 18th Apr, Tue 9th May, Tue 20th June (2-5). Admission £5, children free. Book online at or pay on the day. Home-made teas.

The Manor of Dean Petworth GU28 9AP: The Manor of Dean is a traditional English garden of approximately 3 acres with extensive views of the South Downs. Herbaceous borders, early spring bulbs, bluebell woodland walk, walled kitchen garden with fruit, vegetables and cutting flowers. NB under long term programme of restoration, some parts of the garden may be affected.

Open for the National Garden Scheme on Tue 21st Mar (10.30-12.30); Sun 23rd Apr (2-5); Tue 16th May (10.30-12.30). Admission £5, children free. Home-made teas. Book your tickets in advance on the National Garden Scheme website or pay on the day.

Other gardens opening in Spring 2023: The Old Vicarage Washington, Champs Hill Pulborough, Cookscroft Earnley, Denmans Garden Fontwell, 54 Elmleigh Midhurst, Fittleworth House Pulborough, Foxglove Cottage Horsham, Hammerwood House Iping, The Hidden Garden a Community Garden in Selsey, Highdown Gardens Worthing, Knepp Castle West Grinstead, Peelers Retreat Arundel, 1 Pest Cottage Midhurst, Stanley Farm Liphook, Terwick House Petersfield and Warnham Park Horsham. Visit

Exclusive garden visits with the By Arrangement option

These often hidden gems are worth exploring if you are keen to return to a garden you love, perhaps missed a public open day or simply want to explore somewhere completely unchartered. By Arrangement gardens cater for different group sizes from as few as one to 20+ depending on the size and accessibility of the garden, some have fixed prices for entry others are agreed in discussion with the garden owner.

For West Sussex NGS gardens opening by arrangement with the garden owners visit or

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 by The Queen’s Nursing Institute to raise money for district nurses. Ever since then it has given annual donations to nursing and health charities totalling over £67 million. It gives visitors unique, affordable access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands and raises impressive amounts through admission charges and the sale of tea and cake.

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors the National Garden Scheme is now the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK. As well as the Queen’s Nursing Institute, their beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Parkinson’s UK.

The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open gardens for charity – they are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too and fund projects which promote gardens and gardening as therapy. In 2016 they commissioned The Kings Fund Report Gardens and Health Our Gardens and Coronavirus 2020: The importance of gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown report was published in September 2020.


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