SECLUDED by trees and tucked away behind a house is a beautiful garden brimming with flowers.

Keen gardener Dorothy Goode lovingly tends the tranquil garden at Little Foxes all year long.

This weekend she will open it to visitors to raise money for charity and allow us all to enjoy her flowers and plants.

The garden, in Marcus Gardens, Thorpe Bay, is home to a wide variety of grasses, flowering shrubs and perennials.

There are also colour-themed areas and a water feature.

Mrs Goode, who lives there with her husband, Graham, said: "It's approximately a third of an acre.

"We've got a large lawn, with many island beds cut into it and the borders around the edge are filled with a mixture of shrubs, perennials and grasses."

Mrs Goode's interest in gardening began when she used to help her mother tend her own garden in Southend.

She said: "I helped my mum, who was widowed when I was ten. When I married and came here, I had a little knowledge.

"Having such a large garden, I became more interested in gardening."

Visitors who are inspired by visiting Mrs Goode's garden can start their own collection of plants by buying offshoots when they visit - she propagates her own plants in a greenhouse.

"It's mainly because so many people wanted to come and see it," she added, explaining her reason for opening the garden.

"I decided it might be a good idea to combine that with trying to raise money for charity.

"I have a very large collection of dwarf bearded irises and they are among my favourites.

"I've got quite a few dwarf rhododendrons and hostas. There is also a lot of interest in the foliage."

She added: "I have a plant sale stall on all my open days. I do buy things in as well though, because I'm interested in new varieties as they come on the scene."

Little Foxes will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. Teas and plants will be on sale.

Admission is £2, with all proceeds going to the National Gardens Scheme open gardens fund which raises money for nursing, caring and gardening charities.

For more information, call 01702 587972.