Hull’s Avenues is one of the city’s conservation areas and has retained much of its character because it has kept the original turn of the century design. New buildings and modifications are only approved if it is felt that they are in keeping with the overall feel of the area. Even most trees are protected by conservation orders and can only be removed after authorisation.
In 1976 this encouraged some residents to propose an Open Gardens scheme that would let the rest of Hull see behind the small front gardens and discover the wide variety of back gardens that are usually hidden from view.
Over the years the number of gardens has increased and changed as people have moved into and out of the Avenues and anno domini has taken its toll on the earliest Openers. In 2002 there were more than fifty gardens open, including local allotments. This year, we are expecting around 60 gardens to be on display – an excellent achievement!
Garden visiting is becoming more popular with national schemes such as the Yellow Book listing more every year. It is a very British phenomenon, it’s not something that is often found on the continent.
One of the distinguishing features is that it is almost always in support of charities. The Hull Avenues Open Gardens is no exception. The monies raised from ticket sales as well as the sale of refreshments and garden plants have been given to a wide variety of causes over the years. In 2008 monies were shared between Dove House Hospice, St John Ambulance, Barnados, Practical Action, PDSA, Hull Churches Home from Hospital and The Sea Cadets.. One charity remains constant – Dove House Hospice – which has over the last few years received 50% of all the monies.
For further information on donations, see the Record of Donations.
Because there are so many gardens to visit the ticket which covers every garden is valid for both Sundays. In addition there is a free hail and ride bus which runs around the Avenues throughout the afternoons helping the foot-weary make speedy progress. This unique service is provided by the generosity of East Yorkshire Motor Services and APPRA.
On each afternoon visitors can sit and listen to the musically talented residents either singing or making music,beehives are on display and locally made honey can be bought – details of all the extra events are in the programme, which includes a map of the area.
Why not have a look at our Tree Carvings as you visit this year?
The gardens will be open on the first two Sunday afternoons in July. Tickets are available on the day at any of the participating gardens which are well signposted by large green posters. Tickets before the day can be bought from various local shops.
The Avenues – Victoria, Park, Westbourne and Marlborough – all lie between Chanterlands Avenue and Princes Avenue and can be reached from either Beverley Road (A1079) or Spring Bank (the Hull to Willerby Road). A map is available.