We’ve had a busy few days at both hospices this week as we made the final preparations for our special visitors. Over in Shrewsbury we welcomed the judges from the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom competition. They seemed impressed with what we have done with the gardens, in particular the hanging baskets that some of our volunteers planted with the plants donated by Shrewsbury Town Council. We are hoping to welcome them back for the national judging in early August.

Not only have we had the Britain in Bloom judging we have also welcomed the judge for this year’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme at both sites. The scheme is part of the wider RHS Britain in Bloom initiative for community gardening groups.

As a volunteer-led group we are one of over 1,300 groups involved in the scheme designed to encourage hands-on community gardening. Last year we received a Level Four Thieving Award for our gardens in Bicton Heath and Apley Castle. We hope to build on our success this year but won’t find out for a couple of weeks.

Both schemes are based around three core pillars which are; horticultural excellence, environmental responsibility and community participation. At the hospice we work hard to ensure our gardens are looking their best throughout the year. We also try to use a wide variety of flowers, shrubs and trees which all add to the overall look and feel of the gardens. Some add a splash of colour whilst others add beautiful scents. Being environmentally aware is something that is important to the hospice as a whole and we do what we can to limit the impact we have on the environment.

Elsewhere in the gardens we have taken delivery of two beautiful arbours built by students from Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology. The future carpenters built both arbours with very little budget thanks to Shropshire Building Supplies who kindly donated the materials. We will place one of the arbours at each site offering patients and their loved ones somewhere to sit if they want a bit of privacy.

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