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Green-fingered couple show off stunning garden

Jean Kay ready to welcome people
Jean Kay ready to welcome people
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It’s the time of year when green-fingered enthusiasts the length and breadth of Britain open up their normally private gardens to visitors in aid of good causes as part of a national scheme.

Last year alone the National Open Garden Scheme donated £2.7m to a number of charities, many of them cancer related.

One such garden to open within the scheme, which this year opens for its sixth successive year, is that of Great Mitton Hall at Mitton, near Clitheroe.

The view alone from this medieval styled garden surrounding the 1380 Grade II listed former manor house is one not to be missed.

Almost adjoining the ancient church of All Hallows, you would think the church, a sight in itself, is actually part of the garden as you enter. Then, as you turn to the right, get set to have your breath taken away. For there before you lies a stunning view over the Ribble Valley to Pendle Hill, down to the gentle curve of the meandering Ribble and valley below, to the Aspinall Arms and bridge over the river.

Jean Kay (68), has been transforming the garden since moving to the hall with her husband, Ken, eight years ago.

She says: “I wanted a period house. It is my love. I have redesigned the garden to link with the church as it would have been like that in the past. The monks from Cockerham Abbey lived here for a time and I also wanted to keep the planting low because the views are so beautiful and so people can see the church.”

Jean, who ran Whalley History Society for seven years, will be opening her garden on Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm each day and admission is £4 for adults and children are free.

Lights refreshments are also provided and there are book and bric-a-brac stalls. All Hallows is also open throughout the weekend with guided tours of the tower.