Shropshire Star

Ludlow's secret gardens to open up their gates to public

For 364 days of the year they are hidden from public view and enjoyed only by a lucky few.

Tony and Linda Mahalski in their garden in Mill Lane

But on Sunday, June 18, the gates of 10 private gardens dotted around Ludlow will be open to the public as part of an annual fundraiser.

Visitors to the town’s Secret Gardens will get a chance to see behind the impressive frontages of some of its architectural gems while picking up plenty of horticultural inspiration. All of the plots are diverse in size, style and setting and include some on show for the first time as well as many firm favourites.

The popular event, now in its 33rd year, raises money for Ludlow Assembly Rooms and attracts hundreds of visitors.

Tony and Linda Mahalski will be welcoming people to their garden in Mill Street, which can be accessed off Bell Lane. It features an immaculate lawn, pretty floral borders full of colourful plants and numerous seating areas.

Blueberries, rhubarb and strawberries are among the produce currently being grown in the fruit and vegetable plot.

The couple, who moved to Ludlow from London around a decade ago, divide up the gardening duties, with Tony taking care of the lawn and edges and Linda tending to the weeding.

Linda, who caught the gardening bug after successfully growing two small apple trees from seed, said: “We inherited this garden when we moved in and it was a bit of shock as it was completely different to the garden we had before, with different types of flowers.

“The funny thing about gardening is you come outside with the idea of doing this, this and this but then your eye catches something else and you end up doing something completely different.”

When the hard work has been done, the couple enjoy sitting on the patio and admiring the view.

“The garden gives us much pleasure,” says Tony.

Ann Acton, who lives in Broad Street with husband Gerald, believes first-time visitors to their sizeable two-tier garden will be surprised.