Published Friday 24th November 2017

The class of 2017 helped create an unforgettable Open Gardens season for St Michael’s Hospice.

Communities turned out in force to support each event, some travelling many miles, helping raise just over £23,000.

Over the course of the season, 39 gardens were opened, with thousands of people enjoying a gentle stroll around grounds large and small.

We saw a combination of private and public entries, plus four successful Community Open Gardens in Bosbury, Burghill, Dorstone and Llangrove.

The events also featured the inaugural St Michael’s Hospice Plant Fair, Tea on the Terrace, and the annual Hellens Garden Festival, which helped raise more than £10,000.

Rounding off the season was a visit to Sir Roy Strong’s The Laskett Gardens in Much Birch in late August which attracted more than 800 visitors in just a few hours.

Those who helped make 2017 such a success were invited to tea – and a photo in our own garden at St Michael’s Hospice – to say thank you.

Those attending were also treated to a talk by Tamsin Westhorpe, the former editor of The English Garden magazine and current gardener and director at Stockton Bury Gardens in Kimbolton, near Leominster.

She spoke eloquently about her media role, revealing ‘How to Overwinter Fuchsias’ is one of the best lines you can use on a magazine front cover in order to lure readers in.

She said Alan Titchmarsh still boosts sales, and told her audience that the colour yellow on front pages is regarded as a turn-off for readers.

‘We would like to thank Tamsin for giving such a fascinating talk,’ said Nicki Lloyd, the Hospice’s Open Gardens co-ordinator.

‘We would also like to thank everyone who helped make our Open Gardens season such a success.

‘There was such a great range of gardens this year, with each one offering the visitor something different.

‘We are now busy planning our 2018 programme which we are already very excited about.’