Open your garden and raise funds!

Dandelion Time Summer Gardens

What is Dandelion Time Summer Gardens? 

Green-fingered communities across the Garden of England are invited to open their gardens and raise vital funds for children with challenging emotional issues. It doesn’t matter how big or small your garden is, take part and hold a summer gardens event! 

  • Who: From an urban garden to a quintessentially English Country Garden, anyone can open their garden and participate in Dandelion Time Summer Gardens.  
  • When: Anytime from 1st May until 31st August 2024 
  • How: Open your garden and choose whether to limit your invitation to family and friends or show off your garden to the public.  

How to get started

  1. Register: simply fill in this form or email Kenresa Stratford to find out more. 
  1. Pick your date: Decide whether you want to open your garden to the public or to your family and friends. 
  1. Prepare: Follow our tips to maximise your fundraising 
  1. Time to open your garden: enjoy all your hard work whilst raising funds for traumatised children across Kent.  
  1. Make your donation: If you have set up a fundraising page, you don’t need to anything as your fundraising will come straight to us. If you have collected donations on the day you can pay them in via bank transfer or send a cheque.  

See participating gardens:

Frances Tophill is a Kent born horticulturalist and presenter of the TV shows Gardeners’ World and Love your Garden. Frances has kindly supported the Dandelion Time Summer Gardens campaign by offering her top tips for opening your garden.  

Make sure you have plenty of cake at the ready! Also, you don’t have to get rid of all the weeds and all the mess, you just have to be willing to have a conversation with people about why you’ve kept them. You never know, you may even change people’s minds.   

Plant to grow for the summer

Sweet pea:

This plant is really fun for kids to grow because you can not only watch it grow but you can build really creative structures for the vines to grow up. The smell is also fantastic. And we know that smell can reinforce memories. Children suffering from ill health or trauma can take some flowers home to have by their beds, so they can take the good smell of the garden with them, and help them to reinforce the good memories of having fun in the great outdoors. 

Jim Buttress is renowned horticulturalist who has spent a lifetime in horticulture. Seen on TV in the documentary The World Garden at Lullingstone and more recently as the popular judge in The Big Allotment Challenge. He continues presenting radio programmes, acting as a judge for the RHS and Ruxley in Bloom as well as speaking at a variety of public and corporate events.

Dandelion Time are to be congratulated on getting people to open their gardens this summer for their Summer Gardens Campaign. It is the ideal opportunity for people who live in the area to visit these gardens to gain ideas for their own gardens. I always say to people when they ask me what they should plant in their garden ‘look at your neighbour’s garden’.

Residential gardens are very personal and I always consider it a privilege to visit and talk to the owners. Each garden will have a different landscape which makes the visit even more exciting I cannot think of anything better than sitting in a garden with a slice of homemade cake, cup of tea and admiring someone else’s hard work.
Finally, the bonus could be having plants for sale to help raise money!
Roll on the Summer Gardens Campaign!

Fundraising Ideas

Taking part in Dandelion Time’s Summer Gardens campaign doesn’t need to be daunting! Start off by charging an entrance fee or requesting a donation to enter your garden. Here are some more ideas:  

Plant sale

Organise a plant or produce sale using items from your own garden.


Hold a tombola or encourage donations of books for a second hand book stall.

Seed swap

Gather any leftover seeds you may have and exchange them for seeds you may want and charge 50p for the swap. 

Flower crowns

Set up a crafting station to make flower crowns.

Bake sale

Ask friends and family to bake up a storm in the kitchen and sell their goodies to your guests.  


Create a scavenger hunt around the garden for children to find minibeasts.

I love to hold these annual garden parties and the actual giving of time for these events is so rewarding.  

Samantha Joyce

Samantha has been supporting the charity since 2017. This year will mark her 12th fundraising event for Dandelion Time! Read on for her tips on how to open your garden.


Who can sign up to host a Dandelion Time Summer Garden event?  

If you’re a handy horticulturist or just enjoy pottering around your garden, anyone can take part in the Dandelion Time Summer Garden campaign.  

I’d like to take part in the Dandelion Time Summer Garden campaign, but I don’t know how I can raise funds.  

We’d love you to take part in our summer garden campaign, and we have lots of ways to raise funds at your event. Once you register your interest, you’ll receive access to downloadable materials and advice.  

Can my guests donate online?   

Yes, if your guests don’t have cash on them, they will be able to donate via the QR code on the event poster in the asset pack or alternatively you can set up a fundraising page to share with your guests.  
If you have any friends or family who are unable to attend, they can also use the fundraising page to donate and show their support. 
If you have any friends or family who are unable to attend, they can also use the fundraising page to donate and show their support. 

When can I hold my garden party? 

Although the campaign is running from 1st May – 31st August, you will know when your garden is at its most glorious, hold your event on a date that suits you.  

How can I pay in funds raised? 

Once your event is over, there are a number of ways you can pay in your fundraising to us.  

  • If you set up a fundraising page, you can pay your funds in via your page 
  • You can pay your funds in online, via our website  
  • You can pay them via bank transfer, we can provide you with our bank details  
  • You can also pay your donation in via cheque  


Do I need to insure my event?

We would advise all those hosting a Summer Gardens event to contact their home insurers to ensure their event is covered.

Where can I get supplies for my open garden event?

You can get everything you need, from plants, compost and gardening equipment to garden furniture and even food and homeware from our wonderful Summer Gardens sponsor Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, who endorse local suppliers

Kindly sponsored by