THIS weekend sees a 'first' in the gardening world of York.

Eleven gardens in the Bootham area of the city, none of which have ever been open to the public before, will welcome visitors on Saturday, June 22 (12pm to 4pm) and Sunday, June 23 (2pm to 4pm).

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Edward Waterson, whose own garden in St Mary’s is among those on show, said: “The thousands of people who walk up and down the streets of Bootham every day could not imagine that behind the façades of the buildings lie some wonderful gardens of all sizes and varieties.

“They are oases of calm incredibly close to the city centre.”

The gardens are centred around Marygate and the adjoining streets, and organisers said they range from quite grand designs to spectacularly planted courtyards.

Mr Waterson said: “These gardens may never be open to the public again, so we expect to see plenty of people seizing the opportunity to take a peek behind the houses.”

Open Gardens for St Olave’s Church in Marygate is on Saturday, June 22 (12pm to 4pm) and Sunday, June 23 (2pm to 4pm).

Tickets cost £10 for adults, are free for children and are purchased with a location map from the door of St Olave’s Church in Marygate.

Refreshments are available in the Church hall.