The National Gardens Scheme has been going since 1927, and allows paid entry to participating private gardens of all styles and sizes, with the income going to charity. On a balmy evening last week I visited Charles Rutherfoord’s delightful south London oasis. You may have seen some of Charles’ elegant interiors on this blog or in the pages of House & Garden, but it would seem he is just as talented a landscape designer. The main part of the garden, surrounded by mature trees, and glimpsed by fortunate neighbours, has a meadow like quality, but in place of the wild flowers, are exotic drifts of tulips in wildly contrasting colours; yellows, reds and deepest purples. And amongst them blue irises add to the spectacle. It all feels so natural, so effortless, but this is high maintenance horticulture. When the tulips are long gone, the dahlias will take centre stage, ready for the garden’s next opening in September.