LYMM Open Gardens takes place on Sunday with eight villagers set to throw open their gates for charity.

Green-fingered residents with gardens of all sizes and styles will be welcoming visitors between 12pm and 5.30pm as part of Lymm Festival.

All money from ticket sales will go to St Rocco’s Hospice and there will also be a variety of events at each garden to raise money for other charities. Each year the event raises around £10,000 for good causes.

To preview the day we spoke to Mike and Gail Porter, of Statham Avenue, about what people can expect from their garden.

Describe the garden

A well-structured quarter of an acre south facing garden with a wide variety of plants and shrubs, carefully terraced as it rises to the Bridgewater towpath. Spring bulbs make way for the bright azaleas and rhododendrons. In early summer well-stocked herbaceous beds in peaceful pastel shades burst into towers of green shape and colour. There are pathways to explore and interesting garden buildings to discover.

What are your plans for the garden?

Short term plans are to actually spend some time relaxing in it rather than working on it. We want to extend the lighting to enhance the evening garden.

Longer term we have scope to introduce a waterfall and wild stream feature.

What is your favourite feature?

Many. The dappled sunlight around the secluded log house on a warm afternoon.

The tree fern when exploding into leaf. The gunnera when it dominates the bog bed or the hesperis matronalis in spring with its scent and colour.

How did you get into gardening?

We view the garden as an extension of the house. In the early days it was creating a playroom for kids. That developed into seating areas, dining areas and a series of ‘rooms’ with differing characters.

Do you have any gardening tips?

If possible try to look at the garden through the season and understand what is already planted before finalising plans.

Understand where the sun/shade starts and moves during the day. Are there wet/dry areas? Align this with knowing what it is you are looking to achieve. Plan accordingly.

Try to work in stages and take the time to see how the result reflects on the rest of the garden before starting the next phase.

Why do you enjoy gardening?

There are moments when we don’t enjoy gardening! The four tonnes of cow manure delivered on a sodden February morning was no fun at all. Laying the footings for a stone wall over a very wet Easter weekend made us question our sanity. The enjoyment comes later when you see garden come together. The individual parts blend and absorb into the whole. When the stone wall disappears behind a green canopy leaving only the steps to guide you. The sense of achievement coupled with the reality that what you have created looks good and works. This is echoed in the willingness of visitors to pay to explore and enjoy the garden helping raise money for charity.