The two Open Days of 8th and 10th June were a resounding success.
Huge praise goes to all the volunteers who worked especially hard preparing the site to the high standards expected of NGS Gardens, and those who manned the service points, and the refreshments and Plant Sales stands during both evenings.
Visitors expressed their amazement at the total transformation from what had been an abandoned Victorian Fernery into such an exciting and beautiful modern garden, all achieved in the short time since the project started in September 2015..
The Fernery was visited by the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Cllr Sankit Shah and his wife who spent several hours admiring the restoration and planting work.
Here he is with a few volunteers waiting for the Refreshments stand to officially open.
It was also a special pleasure to welcome back Val Christman, a third generation relative of the Pulham family, (the rock builders) who first visited the site on our first Welwyn Festival Open Day in 2017 at the time when we had not done much more than uncover all the rockwork. Val was impressed with what the volunteers had achieved in partnership with WHBC.
We also welcomed back the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust Conservation Officer Kate Harwood, (2nd from right in this 2016 photo) who from the beginning of this project has advised us on many matters and lent us the benefit of her vast knowledge and experience. In 2021 she donated one of our benches.
We had 251 visitors over both days and as a result were able to donate the Entrance Fees totalling £1160 to the NGS Charities.
The FODF also benefited to the tune of £1187 from Plant Sales and Refreshments. This amazing result would not have been possible without so much hard work from so many people.
Unfortunately we forgot that our resident photographer was incarcerated in the Grotto both evenings giving endless talks to visitors, and we forgot to take any official photos.
However, the following beautiful photos taken by Emma Donatantonio were circulated on WhatsApp by our Chairman.
If anybody else has photos of the events that are worthy of publication, please send them to
We were delighted to discover that the Danesbury Fernery has found a place on Instagram’s Travellers Guide UK.
(Definitely worth a look – ed).