On Sunday 19th June, we marked the Horatio’s Garden 10 Year Anniversary with a celebration at Longford Castle, which proved to be an amazing success!
Our Patron, the Countess of Radnor, generously offered to host the occasion at her home, which happens to be one of the grandest estates in Britain. It has been the private ancestral seat of the Radnor family for over 300 years, and was built by Elizabeth I’s chief lady-in-waiting.
Guests toured Longford Castle’s private, spectacular formal gardens, all the while absorbing the remarkable architecture and atmosphere of the historic estate. Guests also could explore the heavenly Old Garden alongside the River Avon, which is also usually closed to the public.
We were able to welcome over 250 people, including patients from the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury District Hospital, to the stunning estate for the very special event. Everyone shared what a wonderful occasion it was, and how beautiful they had found the gardens and estate to be, which is a testament to the talents of Longford’s Head Gardener and the expertise of the Longford Estates team!
The Countess of Radnor gave a beautiful speech, congratulating the charity’s Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, for her incredible efforts and achievements throughout the past ten years.
Then, garden designer of Horatio’s Garden South West, Cleve West, who won the Public or Commercial Outdoor Space Award, the People’s Choice Award and the most prestigious accolade, the Judge’s Award, for Horatio’s Garden at the Society of Garden Designers Awards, also delivered a lovely speech. He shared more about his time and experience helping create the first ever Horatio’s Garden, and movingly commented on the outstanding progress the charity has made over these years.
Finally, Dr Olivia Chapple reflected on the last ten years, thanking all the people who have helped to make Horatio’s Garden a success, whilst simultaneously looking to the future and sharing her hopes that the next ten years be as fantastic as those that have gone before.
Meanwhile, delicious sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones, personally made by the chef of Longford Castle, paired with jam from the grounds, were being served by a fabulous team of volunteers in the pavilion. Many guests chose to indulge in the irresistible refreshments whilst relaxing at the tables inside the marquee, all decorated loving by volunteer Miyuki and her daughter, Alice, with simply beautiful flower arrangements.
The charity’s craft stall was another brilliant attraction, each piece carefully made by generous volunteers, with many guests purchasing these charming unique items as gifts for their loved ones. As people perused the collection and simply made the most of an afternoon spent in the warm company of their loved ones, guests were also treated to a perfect live performance by Hummingbird, who’s gentle sound lent the afternoon a relaxing quality.
Another popular stall displayed the charity’s beautifully bespoke merchandise, with volunteers assisting customers and sharing their own personal experiences with the Horatio’s Garden. This help was greatly appreciated, whilst everyone agreed the team’s product recommendations were second to none!
Many of the plants on sale were kindly donated by Dobbies Garden Centres, with others lovingly grown by a combination of both patients and volunteers in Horatio’s Garden South West.
We also had an exciting raffle, with brilliant prizes including a three-course lunch for two with a bottle of wine, generously donated by The Pig, a luxurious chocolate hamper gifted by Chococo, a delightful candle from The Botanical Candle Co, a gorgeous bottle of whiskey sent by Artful Dodger Whisky, a side of trout from Chalk Stream Foods, a voucher kindly given by Wilton Garden Centre, as well as some special theatre tickets and, as ever, a Horatio’s Garden hamper.
Thank you to every single person who kindly joined us for this fabulous event, including all of our incredible volunteers. You have all been part of the charity’s story so far, and for that, we will be forever grateful. Moreover, a special thank you must also go to our Patron, the Countess of Radnor, who continues to be such a wonderful support to the charity, as do the rest of her family.