Two beautiful Buckinghamshire gardens will open their doors to the public in support of the National Gardens Scheme.

For almost 90 years the scheme has arranged for gardens across the UK to open to the public for a small fee that is donated to charity.

The scheme is rooted in the grass roots creation of district nursing, which began in the late 1800s by a Liverpool merchant after his wife died. He later gained support from Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria and it became a national voluntary organisation setting standards and training nurses.

In 1927 the organisation decided to raise money through the nation’s love of gardening and in its first year raised £8,000 from just a shilling a head.

After World War Two, the country’s National Health Service took on the District Nursing Service, but the National Gardens Scheme continued to raise money, donating it to health-related charities.

Since its foundation, the National Gardens Scheme has donated more than £45 million to nominated beneficiaries, of which nearly £23 million has been donated within the past ten years. Its continuing support means that for most of its beneficiaries it is the largest cumulative donor in their histories.

Edged by the River Thames to the south, crossed by the Chiltern Hills, and with the Vale of Aylesbury stretching to the north, Buckinghamshire has a varied landscape which boasts an abundance of beautiful gardens.

This Sunday Fressingwood in Great Missenden will be open to the public. It is a thoughtfully designed garden with year-round colour and many interesting features such as a herb garden, hellebores, pergolas, with roses and clematis, topiary, a bonsai collection and a landscaped terrace.

On Tuesday you can visit Red Kites in Bedlow Ridge which has mixed and herbaceous borders, wild flower orchards, vegetable garden, managed woodland and a hidden garden.

Fressingwood Hare Lane, Little Kingshill, Great Missenden, HP16 0EF, Sunday, May 15, 2pm to 5.30pm and Red Kites, 46 Haw Lane, Bledlow Ridge, HP14 4JJ, Tuesday, May 17, 2pm to 5.30pm. Details: