Garden Re-Leaf Day, the garden industry’s biggest charity fundraiser, has raised over £600,000 since Boyd Douglas-Davies launched the first one in 2011 – including over £70,000 in 2018 alone.
The funds raised from this year’s event (Friday 22 March) will go a long way towards funding the completion of four more much-needed garden spaces at UK children’s hospices, bringing the number created so far to almost 60 in the charity’s 21-year history.
The Nest and Rest Garden at Grace House, Sunderland, is set to become a reality under the expert eye of Sean Murray, 2015 winner of the BBC's Great Chelsea Garden Challenge. Designed to attract wildlife, this garden will utilise interactive water features, sensitive planting and sheltered areas to provide families with an invaluable outside space for respite and relaxation, as well as stimulating features that can be used for therapies and reflection.
Over at Claire House Children’s Hospice on the Wirral, Carolyn Willetts of CW Studios, will be transforming the outdoor space into a Garden of Colour. Featuring a Creation Station, Rainbow Meadow, A Quiet Place and sensory Falling Leaves, this garden will be a feast for the senses year-round.
Little Harbour Children’s Hospice in St Austell will be transformed by local landscape architect and designer, Darren Hawkes, who takes his inspiration from the landscape. “I love the relationship between plants and hard materials,” he says. “The opportunity to highlight shapes both in foliage and form as well as in colour is one that I relish". His plans for the Little Harbour garden include all-weather facilities, including a covered hide out festooned with coloured glass panels.
At Richard House Hospice in London, Greenfingers is working with garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin from Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer on a brief to “create a sensory garden which takes families on a journey through the woodland area, starting with a colourful archway and then connecting with different sensory elements of the garden.” It all needs to be wheelchair accessible.
Greenfingers Director of Fundraising and Communications, Linda Petrons said: “Garden Re-Leaf Day has resulted in life-limited children and families who spend time in hospices being able to enjoy precious time together in a Greenfingers garden. It’s really easy to take part, you can sign up and participate in one of this year's organised initiatives such as the Garden Re-Leaf Walk and Cycle Challenge. Why not organise your own event, and register it so that it can be included in all the media briefings that raise awareness of the cause?”
Sign up to take part in 2019 Garden Re-Leaf Day events (March 22nd) or register your own on the Greenfingers Charity website.
See the next story for news of more Greenfingers challenges.