Ascot Racecourse's inaugural Spring Garden Show was the start of something beautiful for us, generating over 7,000 and vital awareness for local hospice care.
The boutique event, from 13-15 April 2018, was the first of its kind at the historic venue. Visitors could explore 12 vibrant gardens - six of which were curated by established designers and the others by talented horticultural students for the Young Gardeners of the Year Competition.
Green-fingered guests could buy garden gadgets from trade exhibitors, attend free talks from experts including TV Gardener David Domoney, and purchase plants from a range of specialist nurseries. We hosted our own shop, selling unique, pre-loved clothing and accessories and a range of new homeware gifts. Our dedicated volunteers manned the show's plant creche.
On the Sunday of the Show, we raffled a beautiful bouquet of flowers, arranged and donated by Royal florist Simon Lycett, raising a further 200.Debbie Raven, Thames Hospice Chief Executive, said: "It has been an honour to be the chosen charity for the first Ascot Spring Garden Show. The atmosphere was wonderful and the show was in a class of its own. Our staff and volunteers have loved being part of it and we hope a long and happy partnership continues to flourish with the incredible team at Ascot Racecourse."
Alastair Warwick, Chief Operating Officer at Ascot Racecourse, visited us to present a £3,144.50 cheque, a percentage of the Shows ticket sales, with the remaining funds generated through the Thames Hospice shop and donations on the day. TheRacecourses Head Gardener joined Mr Warwick to plant flowers from the show in the Hospice gardens. Mr Warwick said: "Companywide we are delighted with the success of the inaugural Ascot Spring Garden Show. To see the event come to life on our famous lawns after two years of planning and development was a fantastic moment in the Racecourses history. This is the first event we have launched on this scale that is not horse racing and we are hugely grateful to all those involved in making the show such a resounding success.
"Thanks must also go to our chosen charity for the Ascot Spring Garden Show Thames Hospice who welcomed visitors warmly on arrival and did a fantastic job of manning the plant creche. Their work across the region is outstanding and I am pleased to say that together we raised more than £7,000 to support their work across the community. We are delighted to be able to support the charity in 2018 and look forward to raising further funds in the future as part of Ascot Racecourse's commitment to supporting local charities and community initiatives."