The National Trust is opening its garden gates across Cheshire and Merseyside for the first time on evenings during the working week.

“We’ve often been asked us if we could open the gardens on summer evenings, particularly by people who work during the week and want somewhere to relax and ‘de-stress’ in the evening,” said trust spokesperson Debbie Peers.

“It’s well known that gardens are very therapeutic spaces, so we’ll be opening gardens during the evening at Speke Hall, Liverpool and Dunham Massey, Quarry Bank, Hare Hill and Lyme Park on selected dates until July 24.”

National Trust gardener Emma Hill said: “The atmosphere in a garden changes during the evening – the air is often still and you can also hear individual sounds of birds and insects more clearly.

“Scents from fragrant plants such as roses and honeysuckle become more intense as the light fades. Paler colours of whites and lavenders come to the fore whilst more vibrant colours such as reds and yellows will gradually lessen as dusk approaches. It is a magical time in the garden.”

As well as horticultural delights, each trust garden will be offering light refreshments and a little extra ‘something’.

“We have hand massages for gardeners on Rose Garden evenings at Dunham Massey, and Musical Fridays courtesy of students from the Royal Northern College of Music,” said Debbie.

“Special garden tours at Quarry Bank will reveal the fascinating story of its 19th century glasshouses which are about to be restored to their former glory, and at Lyme Park the clock goes back to Edwardian times for their garden evening opening in July.”

Meanwhile at two of Speke Hall’s garden evenings, families will a chance to spend some quality time together and play games on the lawn such as badminton and rounders while on the remaining evenings, the pace is slightly slower with local food tastings and midsummer garden tours.

National Trust garden evenings in Cheshire and Liverpool take place on selected dates from now until July 24. For dates and full details go to . Garden admission applies, National Trust members free.