Ann Evans reports on the National Garden Scheme’s support for nursing and health charities in this time of crisis.

 

Pic Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh

In a new campaign led by Britain’s most famous gardener, Alan Titchmarsh, the National Garden Scheme is reaching out to people to help support the nursing and health charities for which it has raised money since its foundation in 1927. With all gardens closed and so no income coming in, the National Garden Scheme is looking at alternative ways to raise funds so as to make up the shortfall in its donations which has inevitably resulted from the Coronavirus crisis.

Normally, the National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,700 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake.

 

Pic QNI nurses supporting at NGS Open Dat at Horatios Garden Stoke Mandeville

QNI nurses supporting at NGS Open Dat at Horatios Garden Stoke Mandeville

Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors the NGS has donated over £58 million to nursing and health charities. The NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK and their beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

The NGS doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity – they are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. They fund projects which promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and in 2017, launched our annual Gardens and Health Week to raise awareness of the topic.

Commenting from his garden in Hampshire, Alan Titchmarsh says, ‘Gardens offer us a sheet anchor in times of turmoil, never more so than this year. The National Garden Scheme uses the joy of gardening and garden visiting to reach out and help all kinds of people.

‘This wonderful organisation has been inviting folk to open their gardens and raise funds for nursing and health charities for more than 90 years. It’s given away more than £60 million and during all that time the gardens have never had to close, not even during the Second World War. That is until now.’

 

Pic Marie Curie Hospice Cardiff In patient Olive Collins with Nurse Fiona Brinkworth Credit Ben Gold

Marie Curie Hospice Cardiff In patient Olive Collins with Nurse Fiona Brinkworth Credit Ben Gold

Alan Titchmarsh’s short film of his garden in Hampshire is one of a group being released by the National Garden Scheme which also include a stunning vision of massed tulips in the garden of Dunsborough Park, Surrey. The films will be hosted on the National Garden Scheme website www.ngs.org.uk and via social media links and in the weekly eNewsletter distributed to supporters. New films will be added on a weekly basis.

National Garden Scheme CEO George Plumptre comments; ‘It’s wonderful to have Alan’s support and the vision of his garden that we are fortunate enough to see is truly inspirational. I hope that watching his and the other films will encourage people to make a donation and so enable us to continue raising funds for the nursing and health charities we have supported for over 90 years. They have never needed our help more than in the current crisis.’

 

Pic Tulip Meadow at Dunsborough Park Ripley Surrey Credit NGS

Tulip Meadow at Dunsborough Park Ripley Surrey Credit NGS

Other Virtual Garden Visits launched this week:

Dunsborough Park, Surrey, 20,000 tulips and wow-factor tulip meadows – https://ngs.org.uk/dunsborough-park-tulips/

 

Slade, Glamorgan using cockle shells in this seaside garden to keep the squirrels off precious tulip bulbs

https://ngs.org.uk/how-do-your-tulips-grow/

 

Hever Castle, Kent a stunning flight of fancy at the childhood home of Anne Boleyn

https://ngs.org.uk/take-flight-over-history/

 

Wood Vale, Highgate, London home to the National Collection of Corokia – in this award-winning back garden

https://ngs.org.uk/a-london-garden/

 

The Maze Garden, Cambridgeshire – a stunning maze made of 1,500 yews and half a mile of hedging in an extraordinarily music shape https://ngs.org.uk/youll-be-amazed-by-this-hidden-cambridgeshire-garden/