Following a successful Open Gardens campaign in summer 2017, which raised an amazing £9,741.82, St. Margaret’s Hospice is now seeking keen gardeners to open their gardens or allotments in aid of the charity during 2018.

The Open Gardens season runs from May to September, however some of the participating gardens, such as Broadleigh in Taunton, are open year round. The hospice will be taking part and opening its own beautiful gardens in Yeovil for the local community to visit, including a treasure hunt for younger visitors. All funds raised through the scheme will go towards helping patients and their families facing a life-limiting illness across Somerset.

Susan Bickle, the scheme’s coordinator, said: “Here at the hospice we know how important our own gardens are to the health and wellbeing of our patients and their families, providing places of relaxation as well as reflection. As a keen gardener myself, I know how satisfying it is to design a garden and raise my own plants, and hope that Somerset residents will support this scheme by either offering to open their own garden, or by taking the opportunity to visit some of the amazing variety of gardens we will have on offer this summer.”

To launch this year’s Open Gardens, Lady Skelmersdale will be giving a lecture entitled ‘Where does your garden grow? or Round the world in 80 plants’ at St. Margaret’s Hospice in Yeovil on Tuesday, March 27th. She will explain where many of the UK’s favourite garden plants come from, with stunning photos of them in their native habitats and in our gardens.

There will be a tour of the hospice garden at 5.30pm, with the lecture starting at 6.30pm, followed by refreshments.

Christine Skelmersdale has been an enthusiastic gardener since childhood and has been the managing director of Broadleigh Gardens for 40 years. The five-acre garden is open every weekday for a charitable donation.

To be included in Open Gardens publicity materials, garden owners are asked to sign up before the end of February.

To find out more about opening your garden in aid of St. Margaret’s Hospice, or to book a free ticket for the lecture, contact Susan Bickle, Fundraising Volunteer Coordinator, on 01935 709182 / 07736 886145 or email [email protected].