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Couple to throw open garden gates to raise money for St Giles Hospice

A beautiful garden will be throwing open its gates later this month to raise funds for St Giles Hospice.

Ray and Michele Blundell will be sharing the vivid colours of the grounds around Wild Thyme Cottage in Barton-under-Needwood with garden enthusiasts on Sunday 28th October to help the Whittington-based charity.

Ray and Michele Blundell's garden

Ray and Michele Blundell’s garden

Admission to the event, run by Needwood Friends of St Giles Hospice between 11am-4.30pm, is £4 and tea, coffee and cakes will be available to buy.

Ray and Michele’s garden was admired by more than 2.7million TV viewers in 2015 during a feature on the popular BBC2 Gardener’s World programme, when it was praised by the team for the stunning autumn colours of its Japanese Maple trees.

The couple were already preparing to host an open day in aid of St Giles at the time of the broadcast, and after presenter Monty Don read out the date on air more than a thousand people turned up in one afternoon – ruining Ray’s lawn but raising more than £3,500 for St Giles.

The event has since become an annual treat for nature fans, who return year after year to enjoy the garden as it continues to flourish and establish itself.

This year Ray and Michele also opened their grounds in April to support St Giles and enable visitors to enjoy the spectacle in the springtime.

Beth Richardson, St Giles community fundraiser, said: “We are extremely grateful to Ray and Michele for allowing so many visitors to share the extraordinary beauty of their garden each year, and for their continuing generosity in supporting St Giles Hospice.

“We would urge anybody who enjoys the beauty of nature to pop along on Sunday to see the breathtaking colours of the garden for themselves.”

The Blundells’ ever-expanding garden at Woodhouses, just outside Barton-under-Needwood, has been carved out from a meadow and an orchard over the past 16 years.

The garden is situated off the B5016 road – visitors should use the postcode DE13 8BS if navigating via satnav – and contains more than 100 different varieties of Japanese Maple, as well as a huge variety of plants and ornamental grasses.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.


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