IF YOU'RE looking for something to do this weekend, why not nose around someone else's private garden?

No, the Oxford Mail is not condoning trespassing: gardeners across Oxfordshire will be swinging open their garden gates this weekend and throughout the summer for this year's National Garden Scheme.

The registered charity, which is marking its 90th birthday, helps proud planters show off their shrubbery to raise money for national and international good causes.

One of the gardeners inviting strangers into her green grotto this weekend is Dr Sue Burge OBE.

The dermatologist has been transforming her half-acre haven in Horton cum Studley into a plant paradise since she moved there in 1986.

This week, as she made the final touches with her grandchildren, she invited visitors to come and wander round on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm in exchange for a donation to the British Skin Foundation.

She said: "Right now the garden is looking wonderful, full of spring colour, and I would be delighted to show people around.

"I love plants, but especially the very small ones – those treasures that are so easily overwhelmed by garden thugs (however beautiful).

"The observational skills that underpinned my work as a dermatologist play an equally crucial role in my gardening."

Another horticultural hero of Horton opening her garden gate on Sunday is Oxford University zoology professor Sarah Randolph, who will inviting visitors into her floral wonderland at Hilltop Cottage.

Visitors can get into both gardens for a special one-off donation of £5.

Magdalen College, Oxford, Long Crendon Gardens near Thame, the Old Rectory at Farnborough near Wantage and Church Farm Field at Banbury will also be welcoming the public on Sunday.

Temperatures are set to hover at about 12 degrees with patchy sunshine but no rain.

Gardens opening later this year include Sparsholt Manor near Wantage, Steeple Aston Gardens and Hollyhocks north of Oxford.

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 when homeowners were asked to open their gardens for 'a shilling a head'.

In the first year 609 gardens raised £8,000 for charity.

Nowadays some 3,700 gardens open each year for the scheme, raising millions for good causes including Macmillan Cancer Support, The Queen's Nursing Institute and Marie Curie cancer care.

See a full list of Oxfordshire gardens at ngs.org.uk