Titchmarsh opens Greenfingers garden

Alan Titchmarsh officially opened a new therapeutic and recreational Greenfingers garden at Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight on 18 July.

Titchmarsh said at the opening: "I’m no stranger to building gardens for disadvantaged families, so I can honestly say - it’s never an easy task. But for Greenfingers to relocate and then recreate the Royal Bank of Canada’s 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden to our wonderful Island here is no mean feat. Finding the funding, organising designers, supporters, suppliers and the final constructors and planters is far from an easy matter.

"So well done to everyone who was involved over the last year or so.  Whether your contribution to this Greenfingers garden was great or small every bit made a big difference. The Earl Mountbatten team and everyone on the Isle of Wight thank you for your contribution that now graces our only Island hospice.

"This is no ordinary garden, as it adds a new dimension to the work of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, and has a lot of jobs to do. It helps to provide stimulation, respite and relaxation for all the patients, visiting families and the staff who, I know, will all appreciate a new place of peace and solace at difficult times."  

Hospice chief executive Nigel Hartley said: "My team, our residents and visitors are delighted to be able to use this welcome space for respite and relaxation. But I would also like to extend an open and warm invitation to all those people who are being cared for at home by our wonderful community nursing team- and indeed anyone who would just like to see it - that they too are welcome to visit our Greenfingers Chelsea Garden at any time."

John Ashley, chairman of Greenfingers, said on the opening: "We are absolutely delighted to have finished creating the RBC Chelsea Garden at Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight.  The garden is simply stunning and it’s wonderful to think of the children and families who will spend time here enjoying it. The relocation has involved the hard work and commitment of many parties to make it happen and all at Greenfingers are extremely grateful for the time, effort and support we have received.

"In particular I want to thank the garden’s designer Matthew Wilson for his professionalism throughout the long process and to the charity’s Garden Project Manager, Emma Hanford, who has done such a great job over the last 18 months making the garden happen in such an efficient way."

Among the supporters who helped to re- create the RBC Chelsea Garden and finance its relocation to the Isle of Wight is the main sponsor Royal Bank of Canada. RBC supports young people and their families in the communities where we work and live and was delighted to support Greenfingers Charity. Other financial supporters included the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association which is an association of manufacturers supplying leisure furniture and barbecues to the gardening trade.  
The Greenfingers Charity would also like to thank the professional garden service team from C.A.R. Gardens, Ryde, IOW, led by Craig Ratcliff, who rebuilt the Chelsea Garden at the hospice to such a high standard using 500 plants kindly donated by Hillier Nurseries Ltd and transported by Pecks Ltd a local farm supply company based in Newport, IOW. Other plants were donated by David Austin Roses, Chichester Trees and Shrubs and Mr Fothergills who enlisted the help of Island based Forest View Nursery to grow many other flowering plants from their wide range of garden seeds. Other financial support was found from scores of garden centres and others around the UK who raised funds through Garden Re-Leaf.

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