Hospice to open gates as part of Open Garden Scheme
HOSPICE will open its gardens to the public for one day next weekend as part of the NGS Open Gardens Scheme this Sunday .
More than 500 people took the opportunity to visit the Hospice of St Francis’ gardens last year when they opened for the first time as part of the scheme.
The seven acre gardens, which are all tended by a team of volunteers, were created from scratch eight years ago and now provide a tranquil and therapeutic environment for hospice patients, their families, friends and visitors.
The gardens are divided into eight areas around the concept of a traditional farmhouse with outbuildings. The gardens include wild flower meadows, lawns, a rose garden, sensory garden ponds and pergolas and a newly developed vegetable garden, tended by patients and carers with produce used by the hospice kitchen.
One of the highlights is a peaceful, oriental healing garden with strong colours, scents and sounds and a water feature, designed by Chelsea Flower show Gold Medallist David Stevens.
Children will enjoy the woodland trail which includes elements of surprise and culminates with a visit to the Storytellers’ Chair, hidden in a clearing in the woods and used to share stories by children and adults facing loss, as well as visiting school groups.
Head volunteer gardener Jackie Anwyl said: “The team has been preparing the hospice gardens for months and we hope that those who visit us will be surprised and delighted by our grounds. We will have volunteers available to answer questions on any of the plants and growing methods but equally people are absolutely free to explore the gardens on their own before relaxing with tea and cakes.”
The hospice will be serving refreshments during the afternoon, with cakes donated by local bakeries.
Eighty per cent of proceeds will go to the National Garden Scheme’s charities with the remainder supporting the hospice.
Admission is £4 and entry for children is free.