Final preparations are taking place for the return of the town’s Secret Gardens event, back for the first time since 2018.

It takes place on June 11 between 1pm and 6pm. Visitors and residents will have the unique opportunity to visit 14 ‘hidden gem’ gar-dens dotted around the estuary town.

 They are normally kept strictly private but for this event some have seen months of preparation ahead of the big day, when over 1,000 people are expected to tour the town.

They range from a pocket-sized back garden especially cultivated for animals, to large traditional gardens with dramatic displays - all previously unseen by the public strolling through Topsham’s gorgeous streets, lanes and waterside walks.

In addition to seeing the gardens themselves, green-fingered visitors can enjoy a specialist plant stall at the Museum’s own waterside garden - including selections of plants from some of the Secret Gardens themselves - as well as tea and delicious home made cakes at two lovely gardens along the route.

All proceeds from the event go towards running Topsham Museum which has its main building in one of the 17th century houses on Strand, close to the Exe, and which will be open for visitors on the Secret Gardens day.

Rachel Nichols, president of Topsham Museum and one of the creators of the very first Secret Garden event back in 2004 said: “Aside from being a special event for garden lovers, this is a wonderful example of volunteering. Scores of people spend hundreds of hours preparing the gardens, re-freshments, printing programmes and putting up signs, and ensuring visitors and garden owners are safe on the day.

“Entry programmes are available online via the Online Shopping section of the Mu-seum website or in person from the Topsham office of estate agency Wilkinson Grant and at the Topsham Bookshop, or of course the Museum."

This year there is also a specially-commissioned jute bag to commemorate the event, available now from the Museum and at the Secret Gardens event itself.

Topsham Museum has a popular and frequently-updated website and virtual tour, plus an online shop. The Museum additionally has displays in a red telephone box in the town, serving as a year-round outpost and attraction.