VICTORIAN houses and gardens in a protected Solihull suburb welcomed more than 1,000 people to raise money for charity.
On Sunday, June 23, between 1 and 5.30pm, 13 gardens in St Bernards Road and the Olton conservation area opened in aid of the Stroke Association.
Not only did 200 more people turn up for the event than last year, more than £8,000 was raised for stroke treatment and research.
The road’s Victorian and Edwardian houses have distinctive architecture and bountiful gardens – which were open to the public for the sixth annual ‘St Bernards in Bloom’ event.
Solihull Conservative councillors Bob Grinsell and Karen Grinsell praised the event on Facebook.
Coun Bob Grinsell said: “Yet again a tremendous event, and seems like there were lots of people, hopefully increasing the funds for The Stroke Association. My congratulations to everyone involved. Well done!”
Organiser Celia Remington said: “In 1980, residents realised that demolition and new building was having a detrimental effect on the area and the Olton Conservation Area was established.
“The original houses are now homes to enthusiastic gardeners.”
The gardens have mature trees, spacious lawns, herbaceous borders and vegetable beds.
The Stroke Association’s website states that it provides specialist support, funds critical research and campaigns to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives.
Refreshments and home-made cakes were on offer, while visitors could sip Pimm’s and listen to live music.
The open gardens were all in the section of St Bernards Road between the Warwick Road and Kineton Green Road junctions.
The event comes after councillors decided to remove ‘development rights’ from properties around St Bernards Road within the conservation area.
The measure – to preserve the character and historicity of the road – means residents planning certain types of renovation now need to apply for permission from planners.