Normally at this time of year the Garden would be very busy with exhibitions and performances, toddler groups and yoga sessions, weddings, children playing in the maze and many people just coming for a lovely stroll through the ever-changing Garden.

This year has been very different – for everyone – and none of us have been able to enjoy these usual delights.  You can imagine what an impact this has on our charity.  We have managed to stay on top of the worst of the weeds, but our financial situation has taken a battering. Closing the Garden due to the coronavirus outbreak has meant lost revenue of £169,000 for the period March to May 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019. Whilst costs during the closure period have been cut to the bare minimum, the trustees resolved to maintain the Garden to a “visitable” standard, which has meant essential operating costs of around £8,000 per month.

However, the Garden was able to re-open almost as soon as it was possible to do so, and if you have been up to visit since it re-opened, you will know that it was well worth the effort.  Visitor numbers since re-opening have been encouragingly steady.

The Committee of the Friends of the Garden is keen to support the fundraising effort to help ensure its survival.  They have set up an online Auction of Promises with the hope of raising £10,000.  To be part of this, you simply need to offer a ‘promise’ of something, ranging from an offer of dog walking, a case of wine or a week in a chalet in Switzerland, perhaps.  Money will be raised through online bidding for these items – if you can’t donate, then please make a bid.

To find out more and to make a bid, click here to visit the Auction of Promises website.  We are very grateful of your support.