Opening gardens, transforming lives

Our partnership turns garden visits into vital support for people living with cancer.

A National Garden Scheme garden

Our partnership with the National Garden Scheme

Macmillan Cancer Support and the National Garden Scheme have a unique partnership. Together, we open beautiful private gardens to the public to transform lives.

The National Garden Scheme has donated over £17 million to Macmillan Cancer Support since 1984. They have helped fund care units in Bristol and Chesterfield. This includes 150 Macmillan nurses and vital professionals. Together, we inspire more people to visit gardens to enjoy the sense of wellbeing a beautiful outdoor space can bring.

Visiting these exceptional gardens helped us open the doors to the Y Bwthyn NGS Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Unit in Wales, our latest joint project. This is the direct result of a shared commitment to supporting people when they need us most.

The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,600 private gardens in England and Wales. It raises money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake. The scheme has raised £58 million for nursing and health charities since 1927. We couldn’t do it without the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors.

Y Bwthyn NGS Palliative Care Unit

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

In light of new Government guidelines, many of the gardens in England and Wales are now open again! Things are slightly different though. Visitors need to pre-book tickets before visiting a garden and there is a limit of six tickets per group. To find out which gardens are open near you, search on the National Garden Scheme website.

We know people living with cancer are worried about coronavirus. You can get information, advice and support on our dedicated coronavirus web pages.

Help Support Our Nurses campaign

The National Garden Scheme launched the Help Support Our Nurses campaign on 9 April. While they were unable to raise funds from garden visits, the campaign became a way to keep bringing the National Garden Scheme gardens to life. With the help of passionate garden owners and supporters, they created a range of virtual garden tours for people to enjoy from home.

The charity is releasing new tours weekly on their website and social media and encouraging people to donate if they enjoy them. President of the National Garden Scheme, Mary Berry, and gardening legend, Alan Titchmarsh, are supporting the campaign. The virtual tours help continue vital fundraising for Macmillan and other nursing charities during the pandemic.

Get involved

To support our partnership, book a garden visit, or enjoy a series of virtual tours, visit the National Garden Scheme website. The Garden Visitor’s Handbook 2020 is also available from the National Garden Scheme shop. Please note that some of the information may be affected by coronavirus.

The front cover of the The National Garden Scheme's handbook. The book is yellow with an illustration of a gate opening on it.