We had a record year this year, in terms of gardens open, number of visitors, money raised, and sponsors. Very many thanks to everyone. Below is a copy of a "Thank you" email sent to garden owners and sponsors:
Thank you very much for your support for Hidden Gardens of Hadleigh 2021, it has been a record breaking year!
We are pleased to report fundraising of over £6,000. This came from a combination of sources - the open gardens: 621 programmes were sold; catering: both ploughman's lunches and our cake stall; sponsorship from local businesses in the programme and on estate agent signage; and donations from individuals which helped towards banners and running costs.
As you will know last year's open gardens event was cancelled due to the pandemic, and instead we ran a virtual photography contest. The Photo contest was repeated in 2021 - see our website for the results (www.hadleighgardens.co.uk) , and again we were able to award winners Benton End Irises, kindly donated by a high street garden.
In 2021 residents opened some 35 gardens (including 2 community gardens) and we are told that the route to visit all locations was 11.4 miles. We appreciated gardens of all types and sources taking part, across the town - from the bypass in the far east, Gallow's Hill in the north, riverside in the west and the far end of Benton Street. The High Street was bustling with visitors holding their green guides - and had the added benefit of increased trade for the town centre shops. St Mary's Church itself was packed with people enjoying lunches (additional thanks to our team of volunteer caterers) - so much so, that tables even extended to the lawn outside. We appreciate how much time and effort goes into preparing a garden, and many visitors remarked how nice it was to see September planting. Next year in 2022 we will return to a late may/early June opening to show off a whole different set of blooms.
The committee have listened to feedback from gardeners and supporters and are looking at ideas for garden owners to be able to see some of the gardens, as well as a thank you reception where we can all socialise and share stories from the event, obviously this was not possible this time during social distancing restrictions.
The event is organised by the Friends of St Mary's Church (and Deanery Tower), Hadleigh, with all funds raised going towards the upkeep and repair of these two historic buildings. All costs have been covered by donations with no fees taken by any volunteers.
Thanks again for your help in making Hidden Gardens of Hadleigh a hugely enjoyable day out, as well as contributing to our charity.
Hidden Gardens of Hadleigh Volunteers 2021