Most people have heard of Secret Garden Party - the award-winning music festival at Abbots Ripton, but an event taking place later this month aims to tell the tale of two secret gardens. Who knew there was another secret garden right next door and that this rare and spectacular event only comes into being once every two years?

Abbots Ripton Hall, the large house next to where the Secret Garden Party takes place, is holding its biennial charity garden show over the weekend of on June 24-26. These private and historic gardens are said to be some of the finest in East Anglia and its garden competition attracts the highest standard of entrants.

The hall gardens cover an area of 8.5 acres with managed parkland and a 10-acre lake. All areas are open to the public during the garden show. The gardens include many fine ancient trees, extensive lawns, shrub rose borders, herbaceous borders, a grey border, bog garden and mixed borders. There are many follies designed by Peter Foster around the garden including a gothic trellis in the herbaceous border and the constable pavilion at the end of the lake.

Besides viewing and enjoying the gardens at leisure, the programme includes inspiring show gardens in a Chelsea-style competition, which is based purely on horticultural merit, and this year’s theme is outdoor living.

There will be talks and demonstrations by professional gardeners such as the BBC’s Steve Brookes, a Saturday gala evening on June 25 with Dixieland Jazz and hog roast for group visits, a locally-sourced food fayre, the popular children’s container competition, silent auction, plant sales, tea garden, classic and vintage car displays and many other family activities.

For the first time, this year sees founder of the Secret Garden Party Fred Fellowes, bringing in his creative team, who will be sprinkling their inimitable magic over much of the show. The Secret Garden Party team will also be creating and sponsoring a very special Friday opera gala evening with world-famous ensemble, Diva Opera.

Mr Fellowes said: “It’s really fun turning our hands to something else that not only benefits the area but engages such a wide range of collaborations.” 

In addition, two internationally acclaimed artists, both formerly from Cambridge and known by their pseudonym The Connor Brothers, are donating an original artwork ‘I Tried to Down My Sorrows’ to a silent auction, which will raise money for local charities.

The Connor Brothers is a pseudonym for British artists Mike Snelle (38) and James Golding (40). The artist duo met in Cambridge where Golding had been schooled since childhood, and whilst Snelle was studying at Wolfson College. The Connor Brothers have exhibited extensively, including numerous solo exhibitions in America, Australia, South Africa, Germany and the UK and they curated Russian activists Pussy Riot’s performance at Banksy’s infamous Dismaland exhibition. Celebrities including Harry Styles, Ellie Goulding, Jonathan Ross, Mary Portas, Richard Osman, Patrick Cox, Richard bacon and Damien Hirst are all known collectors of Connor Brothers artworks and The Victoria & Albert Museum in London are also know to own examples of the artist’s often witty and satirical pieces.

The donated artwork, valued at around £1,000 is a painting on paper from the artists renowned Pulp Fiction series is currently displayed in the L’bidi Gallery in Abbots Ripton which is open from Tuesdays 10am - 5pm and Saturdays from 10am- 2pm. Bidding slips are also available at the gallery. Information on the gallery can be found on www.lbidi-gallery.co.uk

Information on how to make a bid for the print can be obtained by e:mailing goldingtec@btinternet.com

For further information and past press on The Connor Brothers please click here: http://www.theconnorbrothers.com/press/

The Abbots Ripton Hall Garden Show is in aid of local charities supported by Lord  and Lady De Ramsey. The main charities in 2016 will be  Dreamdrops Children’s Charity, British Red Cross Cambridgeshire Branch, Ormiston Families, Huntingdon & Peterborough Women’s Institute Federation, Huntingdon Cromwell Rotary Club Charities, local churches and others.

Tickets are priced at £9, free for under 15s, and available on the website. Group tickets are also available at: www.abbotsriptonhall.co.uk.

Tickets for the Gala Opera Evening are priced at £45 (+ booking fee) and available from:

www.seetickets.com/event/the-garden-show-gala-evening/abbots-ripton-hall/972351.

Tickets for the Gala Jazz evening are priced at a minimum donation of £20 (+bf) and can be booked via email to: Nigel@garden-shows.com.