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Sandling Park shows its true colours

Posted on 13 May 2013

Sandling Park, the home of the Hardy family opened its gates once again to visitors in aid of Pilgrims Hospices on Sunday 12th May for one day only. With over 1000 people visiting, it is anticipated that about £6000 will have been raised.

This fabulous garden renowned for its Rhododendrons and Azaleas was once again a riot of colour and fragrance. A late spring meant the magnolias were in full bloom and woodland plants were still in full flower. Despite a bad weather forecast for the afternoon, there was no rain until the moment the gates closed.

Visitors came from far and wide, with perhaps the furthest ever being Sam Molars and Michele Duffy. They explained, “We are members of the Royal Horticultural Society and saw the garden being advertised for one day only in a magazine that came from them. We decided to rearrange our holiday plans and fly to England a few days earlier so that we could visit this wonderful garden. So we left Hobart, Tasmania, Australia on Tuesday and stopped off in London so that we could spend the day here.

“The garden was absolutely beautiful and worth altering our plans for. It is wonderful too that the money goes to such a good cause.”

Prunella Scarlett, Mrs Hardy’s niece, said, “It was wonderful to work with both Pilgrims Hospices and Operation Sunshine once again. The gardens have been lovingly restored over the last five years and it is a delight to be able to open them for the public.”

Deirdre Mewse, fundraising assistant, “Pilgrims would like to say a huge thank you to all the Hardy family for the work that went into making the day so fabulous. Everyone spoke of their joy at seeing such a beautiful garden.

“Pilgrims Hospices depend on the local community for 75% of its funding, and it is wonderful to see so many members of the community support events such as these.”

For more information about Pilgrims Hospices events, or if you would like to hold your own fundraising event, please contact the Ashford Fundraising Office on 01233 504111 or visit


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