Shropshire Star

Charity opening up spectacular gardens to the public

Gardeners and plant lovers are being invited to two special days this month as a hospice charity opens the gates to its award-winning gardens.

Joel Richards at Apley

Severn Hospice’s Telford and Shrewsbury sites will be open for visitors to explore and enjoy the extensive grounds that have been designed especially to create a comforting, calming and therapeutic environment.

The event at Apley is on Sunday, May 19, while the Bicton gardens – which include a craft fair – will be open the following week on Sunday, May 26.

This July marks the hospice’s 35th anniversary, a milestone only made possible thanks to the community’s support for the charity in that time.

Hospice head gardener Joel Richards said: “It is so nice to welcome in the community on these open days, not only do they get to enjoy a great day out, we also get to thank them for their support and show off what they’ve helped create.”

The grounds at both hospice sites extend over 20 acres and are kept in tip-top condition by Joel, gardener Nicky and an army of volunteers, who will also be on hand to welcome visitors and share gardening tips.

Joel said: “It’s a big year for us and our gardens have always played a really important part in the care we give.

“It’s such a privilege to look after and develop such wonderful spaces that bring pleasure and comfort to patients and their family and friends and we’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors over the next couple of weekends.

“We simply couldn’t do what we do without the support of from our community and we can’t wait to see you.

“Nicky and I work with an incredible team of volunteers, and we’ve been hard at it making sure everything is picture-perfect and the gardens are looking at their absolute best.”

As well enjoying the stunning grounds, plant lovers can gain inspiration and buy home-grown plants which will be on sale, visitors can also pick up refreshments made in the hospice kitchens and at Bicton there is also a craft fair.

This year families to Bicton can also explore the newly upgraded children’s trail with improved accessibility for pushchairs, wheelchairs, mobility scooters and there is story telling for younger visitors too.

On each day, gates open at 10am and each event runs until 4pm.

Entrance costs £3.50 with under 16s free. The gardens offer a family-friendly environment and the charity said that 'well-behaved' dogs are welcome.

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