A WOMAN is travelling from South Korea to South Woodford to visit one pensioner's garden she discovered online.

Helen Auty has been opening up her garden in Cheyne Avenue to raise money for charity for the last four years.

The 72-year-old has been working on her flowerbeds, climbers, and perennials since she moved in over 25 years ago, but started showing them off once a year as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS), which supports charities like Macmillan, Marie Curie, and Hospice UK.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Helen Auty hard at work in her garden 

Last year she raised £500 from a total of around 90 visitors. But this year, Mrs Auty is expecting someone from a bit further afield.

In September the green-fingered enthusiast got an email from a retired horticultural professor from South Korea called Hea Sook Kim.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Hea Sook Kim is a retired professor of horticulture and gardening from Seoul, South Korea

Writing from Seoul, she told Mrs Auty she had found pictures of her “amazing and fabulous” garden on the internet and wanted to come and see it for herself.

The email reads: “I have visited UK three times to see the Chelsea Flower show. To see lots of gardens is the reason of my travelling.

“Anyway I heard there’s a private garden contest in UK. Therefore I search internet and saw your garden.

“It looks amazing and fabulous, and the design seems very special and interesting, so I would love to visit next year.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Hea Sook Kim's garden in Seoul

Mrs Auty replied saying she would be “delighted” to show her around and is looking forward to meeting her on the big day next month (August 6).

She said: “I couldn’t believe it, I thought ‘fame at last’.

“She sent me pictures of her garden and it's very different to mine – but I suppose each country has their own idea of what a garden should look like.”

Hea Sook even invited her fellow flower fan to South Korea, but Mrs Auty said she is yet to take her up on the offer.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Mrs Auty's garden in Cheyne Avenue, South Woodford

She added that NGS is keen to recruit more people to help open up their gardens to support its charities and anyone interested should call east London organiser Teresa Farnham on 07761 476651 or email farnhamz@yahoo.co.uk.

Mrs Auty’s garden at 46 Cheyne Avenue will be open complete with tea, cake, and home grown plants for sale from 12pm to 5pm on Sunday August 6. Tickets are £4 each, children get in free.