Shropshire Star

Severn Hospice to open its gardens to the public this summer

Things will be blooming lovely for a county charity when it opens its extensive gardens to the public later this summer.

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Severn Hospice gardeners Nicky and Joel have been getting the sites ready for the events.

Severn Hospice has two main sites, one in Telford and the other in Shrewsbury. Its gardens are tended by an army of volunteers and gardeners who prune, plant, cut and mulch come rain or shine.

And in time for this year’s open gardens event, which takes place in mid-June, they have created a new woodland walk area at the Bicton hospice in Shrewsbury, and a seaside-themed garden at Apley, Telford.

They are in addition to the lawned and wild areas at both sites, which have won many awards over the years.

Visitors will be able to wander, smell and enjoy the thousands of plants which are propagated and brought on in the hospice poly-tunnels.

Open gardens were regularly held prior to the pandemic and made a triumphant return last year when even the blistering heatwave could not keep the crowds away.

The event at Bicton is on Sunday, June 18, while the Apley gardens will be open on Sunday, June 25.

Joel Richards is head gardener and, alongside his colleague Nicky Worthing, they have been marshalling volunteers and preparing the site for the event.

“Everything is looking good,” said Joel. “We hope the weather is kind as it was a bit of a mission last year to keep all the plants from burning.

“The new woodland walk at Bicton is wonderful, there is a gravel path that winds through the trees and ends at a wooden bridge.

“The seaside-themed garden at Apley is outside the patient rooms, and like all our gardens, brings comfort and enjoyment to all who see them. Eagle-eyed visitors may also spot our resident elephant Humphrey hiding amongst the grasses.

“We know how much pleasure our gardens bring to our patients and their families and friends, as well as to the staff who work here at the hospice, so it really is a passion for me and Nicky and the volunteers to ensure they are looking at their absolute best.”

Gates open at 11am and each event runs until 4pm. Entrance costs £3.50 (under-16s go free).

There will also be a plant sale, with stalls to browse, refreshments, a BBQ, entertainment, and crafts.

The open gardens are family-friendly and well-behaved dogs are welcome.