Record number of visitors for the blooming beautiful

THE JOY of being out and about again meant that this year’s Horsell Garden Safari may have achieved record numbers in visitors and funds raised.

Jon Allan with his wife Vivienne in their High Street garden invite Jonathan Lord MP (front left) and Woking Mayor Cllr Liam Lyons to try the Pandemic Bench that he made in aid of Friends of Woking Community Hospital

The organised tour of gardens in Horsell was held last weekend, despite some downpours, and had a record attendance, according to Gail Bromley who helped organise the event. She said: “There was a wonderful turnout for the Horsell Garden Safari this year with well over 350 schedules sold.”

Rachel and Bob Weldon-Gamble deadheading sweet peas on their plot. Bob is the Site manager for Horsell Allotments

She said some visitors came from as far afield as Brighton and Winchester boosting the local turnout which included a visit by the Mayor of Woking Liam Lyons and Jonathan Lord, MP.

Money raised from the safari tickets will be going to Woking High School for a gardening project and the Horsell Village Hall for urgent maintenance work. In addition, a chance to bid for a for a Pandemic Bench and a plant sale raised money for a wish list of items for the Friends of Woking Community Hospital (FWCH).

“We are in for a record year it seems,” said Gail. “We know of at least one garden who experienced 332 visitors during the afternoon and many more with similar numbers!  – so a brilliant effort all round. The village was buzzing with activity all weekend , with many visitors enjoying their first outdoor Horsell event in a year. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves.”

Marian Boul says her garden in Elm Close “has given emotional and physical blessings this past year.”

Rachel and Adam Chambers’s garden in Thornash Road said their garden was: “A reflection of our South African adventures combined with our love for the traditional English country garden”

Stalwarts of the safari Caroline Hughes was serving tea and cakes in her garden which she described as “a long traditional garden with annuals, herbaceous borders, vegetables and a wild area, called ‘relaxed’ by some.”

Jon Allan, chairman of FWCH, who made the Pandemic Bench, said: “Many people tried the bench and found it comfortable as well as decorative. I was even asked if I took commissions!” He added: “I am waiting for final figures, but we’d raised about £1,300 on the Saturday.”

Thanks were extended to the growers who donated supplies as well as all the volunteers who manned the till with a special mention to Mrs Maggie Dawes the organiser.

For a picture spread of the event, get the 1 July edition of the News & Mail, in shops now

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