Published Tuesday 12th July 2016

Gardening royalty visited us when Terry Walton, renowned for his weekly allotment diaries on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show, dropped by.

The green-fingered guru spoke to staff and patients before casting his eye over St Michael’s very own gardens.

‘I think it’s a fantastic place here,’ he said. ‘It’s light, airy and very welcoming. It’s a place you wouldn’t associate with what it does.’

Known as ‘the allotment doctor’, Mr Walton is no stranger to conventional hospitals, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012.

Patient rooms at St Michael’s look out onto the Hospice gardens. Mr Walton said his own allotment in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, kept him going during his illness.

‘That was my salvation,’ he said. ‘You’re in touch with living things. It’s so important. The garden is never the same every day.’

Mr Walton had won a painting and other gardening-related items in a raffle at last month’s Hellens Garden Festival in Much Marcle, an event which supports St Michael’s.