A few years ago I had an idea – to start an Open Gardens event in Peacehaven. After a successful meeting, Paradise Park in Newhaven agreed to sponsor the event. I asked other local residents if they would like to join me. I do think a lot of people have the misconception that you have to have a very large garden with perfect grounds, plants etc. This is not so, any garden will be suitable especially if you enjoy gardening and raising some money for charity. I always say ‘any size and theme (if you have one) is suitable’ Just enjoy the weekend.

Over the past few years we have had many different gardens open, some large, some small, one with no lawn (my own), cottage gardens, community gardens and allotments. This year the local school joined in too.

All the gardens are beautiful, well looked after and loved by their owners. A few gardeners sell plants, arts & crafts over the weekend, along with refreshments. The visitors are well looked after, with many travelling a good few miles to see us. We have over the past few years raised money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Eastbourne. The hospice is an amazing place where you can visit and just sit and have a coffee/tea. It is definitely worth a visit and you can see where the money donated goes to.

This year we raised an amazing £1250, this was the most yet. Can we beat it next year?, I do hope so!

The Open Gardeners are already looking forward to next year with the event being held two weeks later (to allow for different plants to be in flower) so if you fancy joining us please give me a ring on 01273 589502.

The top photo is of the Open Gardeners & Mark Gilbert (Paradise Park, Newhaven) presenting the cheque to Simon from St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Eastbourne

Alison Standing