The Leura Gardens Festival is altering its opening times.

Massed colour: One of the magnificent gardens that featured in last year's Leura Gardens Festival.

Massed colour: One of the magnificent gardens that featured in last year's Leura Gardens Festival.

The Leura Gardens Festival is rejigging its dates this year, to give both garden owners and the gardens themselves a break from the thousands of visitors.

Instead of running for nine straight days in early October, this year gardens will be open from Saturday, September 29-Monday, October 1 (the long weekend) and then again from Friday, October 5 to Sunday, October 7.

Festival president, Brooke Broughton, said the change should make it easier on everyone, from the garden owners to the hundreds of volunteers who make it all happen.

“The main reason we’re doing it is for the gardens and the owners because with the numbers we’re getting, nine days straight is a big ask … and it’s also pretty tough on the gardens,” he said.

“We think it will also help recruit new gardens. It’s something of an experiment but we’ll see how it goes.”

The festival attracts thousands to the town each year. It has raised more than $2 million for local health-related organisations.