A green-fingered couple from Staffordshire are inviting people to enjoy the picture-postcard splendour of their cottage garden this summer to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
For the 24th year running, Margaret and Peter Hargreaves, of Barton-under-Needwood, are holding a series of open days at Grafton Cottage as part of the National Gardens Scheme. In that time they have raised close to £62,000 for various charities, including almost £9,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity. The first open day will be on Sunday 28 June.
Last year the keen gardeners, whose skills won the praise of Alan Titchmarsh on ITV’s Love Your Garden in 2011, raised over £4,000 for charity as hundreds of people flocked to explore their dazzling borders, subtly-coloured summer blooms, old fashioned roses, sweet peas and clematis. As in previous years, the couple will be donating a quarter of the total they raise to Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Margaret, a hairdresser, and Peter, an accountant at Smith Cooper in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, will be serving cream teas and scones, and visitors will be able to sample their jam, made from home-grown produce. Margaret also sells a selection of plants she has propagated.
Margaret explained her motivation for holding the open days and supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK’s groundbreaking dementia research:
“We can’t wait to welcome people to our garden once again this year. It’s constantly evolving and we really try and improve on it each year. Our main focus is perfume and colour. As well as being able to explore the garden, I think people enjoy the social aspect of it. It’s a great day out and a wonderful chance to support various charities, including the dementia research experts, Alzheimer’s Research UK.”
“As a hairdresser, some of the clients I come into contact with have dementia. It’s heartbreaking to see how the condition can rob people of their memories. Our open days are a lot of hard work, but knowing the money we raise will help the search for new treatments makes it all worthwhile.”
Zoe Baggott, Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Regional Fundraising Officer for the West and Wales, said:
“Margaret and Peter have already made such a valuable contribution to our work through their previous open days and it’s fantastic that, once again, they’ve chosen to support vital dementia research. The money they raise helps bring us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
“There are an estimated 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia today, including nearly 12,000 people in Staffordshire, yet research into the condition lags far behind other serious diseases. Research has the power to transform lives but we rely on public support to fund our pioneering work. It’s thanks to the dedication of people like Margaret and Peter that we’re able to continue funding world-class research.”
Grafton Cottage, in Barr Lane, Barton-under-Needwood, will open from 11.30am-5pm on Sunday 28 June, Sunday 19 July, Sunday 2 August and Sunday 9 August. Entry is £3 for adults, while children go free. For more information or to arrange a group booking, call Margaret and Peter on 01283 713639.