Delight as ‘magical’ Peterborough night garden opened up for first time

Having a tranquil garden was a real lifesaver for Andrea Connor, who is adamant she would not be here today without her precious green space.

Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 7:00 am
Andrea Connor's night garden at her home at Honeyhill, Paston EMN-190206-232915009

And having spent five years perfecting her remarkable night garden she opened it up to the public for the first time on Sunday evening, receiving rave reviews from a select audience who were left enchanted as day turned to dusk.

Believed to be the first ever night garden in Peterborough or Cambridgeshire, more than 20 people cosied up together with tea and cake as the sun set over Andrea’s house in Honeyhill, Paston, with the solar powered lighting transforming the colourful setting into something special.

“It was amazing - absolutely unbelievable. One hundred per cent it was a success in every single way,” said Andrea (49).

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Andrea Connor's night garden at her home at Honeyhill, Paston EMN-190206-232853009

“Comments we had were ‘enchanting’, ‘a magical garden’, ‘a fairy land’. People were saying they would definitely come back and were inspired to do their own garden.

“One lady said she had ordered some lights for her garden while she was here. We had lots of lovely people.

“Your photographer said ‘in 45 years in the media this garden is something I have never experienced before - a truly remarkable design’.

“That was the most magical thing for me to hear.

Andrea Connor's night garden at her home at Honeyhill, Paston. Rosemary Knight and Brendon Murray in the garden EMN-190206-232904009

“It just gave people so much joy and enlightenment. There was so much to talk about and it brought people together. There was a stillness and a beautiful peace and tranquillity. People couldn’t believe the vibrancy of it.”

Andrea’s garden contains shrubs, roses, clematis, colourful bedding plants and an ash tree, as well as a salvia collection for wellbeing, arches and trellis for height, water features for tranquillity, and of course the lighting. Not to mention the birds and hedgehog who love the garden.

“I have been through a lot of trauma in my life, and I have always said if I did not have the garden I would not be here,” said Andrea. “My garden is my safe haven. I hope this makes people go into their gardens more and appreciate the health benefits.”

Andrea is also opening her garden up for the next two Sundays as part of the National Garden Scheme. It will be open from 7pm to 10pm, and people should follow the signs in Honeyhill to find it.

Andrea Connor's night garden at her home at Honeyhill, Paston. Also in the garden Robert Marshall from the Cambs National Garden Scheme EMN-190206-232926009

It costs £4 to enter and money raised is donated by the National Garden Scheme to charities, including Mind which is close to Andrea’s heart. “Word is spreading fast so hopefully more will be raised for the charities. That’s what it’s about,” she added.

“It just shows you can create something in a city that has life in it and tranquillity.”

Other gardens also open on Sunday are 289 Dogsthorpe Road from noon to 6pm, and Manor House, Alwalton, from 1pm to 5pm.

Andrea Connor's night garden at her home at Honeyhill, Paston. In the garden Rosemary Knight EMN-190206-232938009