Lots to enjoy during our Open Gardens season St. Margaret’s Hospice is celebrating National Gardening Week 2018 with the launch of its Open Gardens season brochure, designed to inspire gardeners of all abilities. The colourful brochure is available from all St. Margaret’s shops, local garden centres, libraries and tourist information centres, or can be requested by calling 01935 709182. It gives details of the stunning Somerset gardens that are welcoming visitors this year to help raise the £12.5m a year needed to run the services provided by St. Margaret’s Hospice. A wide range of amazing gardens are available to visit, from intimate courtyards to 60-acre woodlands, and all sizes in between. The gardens will be open on various dates between now and October, while some are open by appointment. During National Gardening Week (April 30 – May 6), visitors will be able to stroll around the sunny, south-facing garden at Aller Farm in Williton on Sunday 6 May, between 2pm and 5.30pm. The garden is surrounded by stone walls and sub-divided into five separate areas, including a cliff garden, old magnolias, figs and Judas trees. Cream teas will be served. On Thursday 10 May at 7.30pm, the Taunton Hospice is inviting guests to attend a lecture by David and Pauline Wright, owners of Lift the Latch garden in Forton, detailing the transformation of their garden from 1984 to the present day. The garden has been featured on TV and in several gardening magazines. National Gardening Week was launched seven years ago by the RHS and aims to become the country’s biggest celebration of gardening. Thousands of people, gardens, charities, retailers, culture and heritage organisations and groups have got involved over the years and St. Margaret’s Hospice is delighted be taking part. To launch the charity’s 2018 Open Gardens season, Lady Christine Skelmersdale, of Broadleigh Gardens, Taunton, entertained an audience of keen gardeners at the Yeovil Hospice with a lecture entitled ‘Where Does Your Garden Grow?’, exploring the origins of our cottage garden plants. Broadleigh Gardens, with its inspiring collection of bulbs, is open all year round to visitors in aid of St. Margaret’s Hospice. Open Gardens coordinator Susan Bickle said: “The response to our Open Gardens season this year has been overwhelming. We have doubled the number taking part since last year, and have a wide variety of gardens taking part, including a whole day of gardens in Sherborne. “There really is something of interest to everyone, whether they just enjoy looking at beautiful gardens, or have a keen interest in unusual plants. Many gardens are offering added extras, such as raffles, croquet, choirs, artists’ studios and even book sales, with the majority also offering refreshments, cream teas and cake.” The Open Gardens brochure can be found online at www.st-margarets-hospice.org.uk/open-gardens-2018.