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Harlow Friends celebrate 20th annual Open Gardens Weekend

News / Mon 23rd Jun 2014 at 10:49am

GREEN-fingered supporters will be throwing open their gates for the 20th annual St Clare Open Gardens Weekend organised by the Harlow Friends.

The two-day event on June 28 and 29 is an opportunity to have a wander round some of the best kept green spaces in Harlow, Church Langley and Hastingwood.

Set up by St Clare stalwart Ann Gould in 1994 after she was inspired by visiting an event for another charity, the first Open Gardens Weekend raised £900 for the Hospice. Like the lovingly tended gardens on display, the event has grown and grown, last year generating £6,500.

Recently, more than 40 loyal supporters gathered at the Hospice to celebrate the 20th anniversary, with a beautifully themed cake taking centre stage.

St Clare director of fundraising Elizabeth Palfreman said: “The Open Gardens Weekend combines two of my favourite things, gardening and cake! The Harlow Friends work incredibly hard to open their gardens and there is a type of planting to suit everyone. The event on June 28 and 29 is firmly in my calendar.”

St Clare volunteers Pat and Dave Green have been opening their beautiful garden in Potter Street to the public for three years.

When the couple moved in 16 years ago, the plot was a large bare field with no planting of any sort but under the couple’s loving care it has flourished into a picturesque cottage garden with abundant shrub beds and a large vegetable patch.

Last summer, the Greens were inundated with visitors eager to have a look round. “We really enjoy it because most people who come through the gate love gardening just like us,” Pat said.

garden“Usually we are the only ones who see the garden so it’s nice to open it up for others to enjoy. Dave is pottering out there most days so it’s lovely that other people get to appreciate his hard work.”

Entrance to all the participating gardens is by programme only. They cost £3.50 and include a map to help visitors navigate the area. Programmes are available from Ann Gould on 01279 830886.

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