There was a wet and grey start to proceedings, but the Skanda Vale Hospice National Garden Scheme Open Day has proved a huge success.

Some 50 paying visitors, plus members of local gardening clubs for whom entry was free, braved the early rain to come and enjoy our gardens – with plenty of tea and cakes on hand to enjoy whenever the showers returned.

“I’m absolutely delighted that it has been such a success,” said Hospice manager, Brother Jakob. “The rain this morning had me thinking that no one might come, but when you believe, good things happen.”

“We’re so glad we came,” said one beaming visitor. “The gardens are beautiful, and we’re so impressed with the Hospice facilities.”

“This is such a fabulous, peaceful place,” said another. “It’s such a pleasure to be here.”

Nicky Gilbert, volunteer recruitment lead, said: “I’m amazed by the number of people who have come.

“It has been really busy, and with a really positive vibe.

“Everyone has loved the gardens and been so impressed by the Hospice facilities.”

Nicky also gave a number of visitor groups a full tour of the Hospice facilities.