Community Brand Case Study: The Avenues Open Gardens

Sarah, Elly, Ken and Robbie run The Avenues Open Gardens – a project to celebrate Hull’s beautiful gardens (and get neighbours talking to each other too).

It’s believed that the Avenues Open Gardens concept (which, and excuse us if we’re stating the obvious, involves Avenues residents opening up their gardens to the public) was first created 40 years ago, in 1976.

Now organised by Sarah, Elly, Ken and Robbie, and supported by a fantastic team of volunteers, the event is held on the first two Sundays in July. In 2016 50 private gardens opened their doors (or should that be gates?) for this much-loved event, as well as the Richmond Street Allotments and Pearson Park Wildlife Garden.

The current organisers initially got involved after opening up their own gardens several years ago, taking over the Avenues Open Gardens project back in 2013. Their ambition now is for the Open Gardens to be the main event within the Avenues community, attracting an ever-growing audience from across the region.

The Open Gardens aren’t just for gardening enthusiasts, though. The organisers are happy to welcome everyone to the event, from those who are occasionally green-fingered, to those who want to admire the water feature in the house opposite, or those who just fancy a cuppa and a slice of cake with a friendly neighbour. And it’s not all about the gardens; the event has included choral performances and art exhibitions in recent years.

In 2017, the organisers and their team of volunteers hope to make it a year to remember. They aim to have more gardens open and have even more involvement from local artists. Green-fingered or not, they’ll be encouraging everyone to fully embrace Hull 2017.

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