A Surrey sunflower harvest for UK hospices
The National Garden Scheme has teamed up with one of its beneficiaries and a local Surrey charity to share a sunny, sunflower harvest this autumn that will help their partnerships blossom in the new year.
Inspired by our long-standing support of Hospice UK and the charity’s sunflower logo, the National Garden Scheme approached their neighbour and newly signed garden at West Horsley Place to see whether they could share in this September’s sunflower harvest.
“We’ve been supporting Hospice UK since 1996 and at a recent meeting discussed how we could share the joy of gardens and in particular, sunflowers across the hospice network,” says National Garden Scheme Communications Manager, Vicky Flynn. “We are really excited that West Horsley Place have signed up to open their garden for us in 2023 and knowing that they had planted a beautiful community sunflower field approached them to see whether we could be part of this year’s harvest.”
“The request was perfectly timed as our harvest plans were already set for this weekend (September 30 – October 1) and we’re delighted that both the National Garden Scheme and Hospice UK joined us on Friday,” says Matt Link, Estate Manager at West Horsley Place. “Having personal experience of the amazing work that hospices carry out it was great to get everyone involved and I can’t wait to see what happens next to the sunflower seed from West Horsley Place.”
Commenting, Kate Redding, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Hospice UK said: “We help support hospices across the country, many of which have gardens or outdoor spaces which are important parts of patient care – some of which open for the National Garden Scheme.
“With the sunflower as our logo, it will be wonderful to share this West Horsley Place sunflower seed with them so that they can attract birds and wildlife into their spaces along with wonderful bursts of colour that the sunflowers create.”
With the seed harvested it will now be dried before the team get back together to package it ready for distribution to the hospices in the new year.
“We just planted the seed straight into the ground in April and the results were fabulous,” adds Matt Link. “It’s great to know that the harvest will help bring colour and joy to hospice gardens around the country next year.”
Watch this space for updates.
The National Garden Scheme has been supporting Hospice UK since 1996, donating over £6 million in that time. For more about our partnership click here
Lead image: Kate Redding, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Hospice UK with Matt Link, Estate Manager, West Horsley Place and Judy Young, local volunteer