Garden attraction opens for a limited time

The grounds of an independent school have been opened to the public for a limited period to help raise cash for a restoration project.

Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire has opened its Italianate gardens until November 1st in the hope of raising the £2.9 million required to regenerate the green space and historic building, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed.

The former home of Victorian collector Robert Stayner Holford has an array of rare plants – some of which will have to be propagated to preserve their unique genetic lineage.

Holfords of Westonbirt Trust is responsible for raising the cash and is hoping garden and greenhouse fans will contribute over the next few days.

It already received a boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which provided a development grant that will go towards the total.

Meanwhile the RHS has encouraged Brits to buy English apples during the UK growing season to help orchards make the most of what has been a bumper harvest.