On Sunday 2nd July, seven gardens across Rochford, Hockley, Hawkwell and Ashingdon opened their gardens for the first time to raise money for Havens Hospice.
The event was a huge success with over 350 gardening enthusiasts paying £5 to follow the trail on the day and many of the gardens on the trail also held their own fundraising events from refreshment stalls to selling homemade honey; raising a grand total of £4542.47. All money raised throughout the day and from programme sales went to Havens Hospices so they can continue to be there for everyone who needs them for as long as they’re needed.
The event was official opened by the Chairman of Rochford District Council, Cllr Mrs Lesley Butcher at St Luke’s Place in Rochford. Which had opened their communal gardens, held a plant sale and were joined by singer – Asha Louise.
“Singing at the Open Gardens at St Luke’s Place in aid of Havens Hospices was so wonderful; it was so special to be joined by members of the public as well as the staff and residents, all of whom were tapping their feet, clapping their hands and singing along! I also had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful Jessie, who is 95 years young and used to be a singer herself, and she kindly sang 3 songs to us all.’
Nurse Jean Abbott opened her garden in Ashingdon and held a book sale, tombola and sold refreshments to help raise vital funds for Havens Hospices.
“It is so difficult to put into words what a great day we had; we were busy from beginning to end and all our visitors were lovely and so complimentary of the garden. The tombola was particularly popular and sold out early, we also sold quite a few books and refreshments which was a fantastic as we wanted to raise as much as possible for Havens Hospices.
“I’d like to say thank you to all who visited our gardens, thank you to everyone who helped us on the day and finally congratulations and thank you to everyone who has helped make the first Havens Hospices’ Open Gardens trail such a success; we can’t wait for next year.”
Anita Steed opened Little Brays in Rochford for the day. She said
“I was a little apprehensive about opening my gardens, but I needn't have been as we had a steady stream of guests all day who were very complimentary about my garden. The atmosphere was lovely and nearly all my visitors were keen to buy the cakes we baked for the day, thereby raising funds for a very worthwhile charity”
Claire Wilson Community Fundraiser at Havens said
“The event was a great success and we are so grateful to everyone involved, the money raised will truly be helping us fulfill our promise of ‘Making every day count.’ Havens Hospices can only exist because of the kindness of our supporters; firstly I’d like to thank Fox Property Group and Riverside Nursery who partnered with us to make this event possible. But the biggest thank you goes to everyone who opened their stunning gardens and also the visitors who made the event so wonderful! A beautiful day was had by all and we are very much looking forward to next year!”
We are now looking for gardens to use in the 2018 Open Garden show. If you would like to participate in an event like this in the future, whether your garden is small and quaint or large, please contact Kerry or call 01702 220 305.