We've caught glimpses of the garden at 10 Downing Street in London on occasion, mainly because it has been enjoyed by British prime ministers and their families for over 285 years.  If you would like to examine the garden attached to the headquarters of the UK Government, currently home to Prime Minister Theresa May, now's your chance, because a public ballot will be held to win the opportunity to go inside the garden and terrace and see it for yourself.

Travel News - Downing Street Gardens
You can enter a ballot for a tour of the gardens at 10 Downing Street. Image: Jay Allen

The garden will be open during the Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019 in June. Over 100 green spaces in the UK will open their gates for public enjoyment and discovery during this annual event, many of which are usually closed to the public. Organised by the London Parks and Gardens, the event aims to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of all these landscapes and celebrate their beauty, ecology and value. There will be two tours of the Downing Street garden on Sunday 9 June at 11.30am and 1.30pm, and 24 places are available on each tour.

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Two tours of the gardens at 10 Downing Street will take place in June. Image: Jay Allen

Constructed in 1736, the garden at 10 Downing Street is dominated by an open lawn of half an acre in size, and there’s a central flowerbed with flower urns. Tubs of flowers line the terrace and roses line the main pathway through the garden. There’s also bird-feeding tables, and a vegetable garden that produces radishes, spring onions, tomatoes and lettuce. The garden also features an attractive bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth and some trees.

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Number 10 Downing Street is the headquarters of the UK Government. Photo by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

The garden backs onto Horse Guards Parade and includes a wildlife pond and area created by the BBC’s Blue Peter programme. Ducks have often nested there before mum and ducklings are escorted back to St. James Park. The garden has provided an informal setting for a number of significant gatherings, such as press announcements and social events. In 2011, UK prime minister at the time, David Cameron, and his wife Samantha joined with the-then US president, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle in the garden, to provide a barbecue for military personnel.

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David Cameron and Barack Obama serve food to a member of the military during a barbecue in the garden of 10 Downing Street in London in 2011. Image: AP Photo/Matt Dunham-Pool

The Open Garden Squares Weekend 2018 takes place on  8 and 9 June and with the purchase of a weekend ticket, you can explore London’s urban gardens, and enjoy a range of activities and experiences for all the family. For further information, see here and to enter the ballot to win a place on one of the 10 Downing Street tours, see here.

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