Many of you will have first-hand experience of how much hard work, effort and dedication goes into maintaining a picturesque, top quality garden. Yet few will have gone as far as local gardening enthusiasts, Travis and Ann Rowlands, who regularly opened up Lower Ebear Garden at Westleigh to the public. Over twelve years they have raised many thousands of pounds for Hospiscare and have been one of the mainstays of our popular Open Gardens programme.
But the Rowlands haven't just opened up their beautiful gardens to literally hundreds of visitors over the years, they have also created the a fascinating museum of local social history for visitors. Alonside this, Ann and a team of dedicated supporters have worked, planned and prepared hundreds of lunches, teas, cakes, plant stalls and book sales - all to support Hospiscare.
Our Volunteering Manager, Vicky Lachenicht, has vivid memories of Lower Ebear: “I will never forget the first time I visited this lovely garden, everyone was so welcoming and friendly, parking was available and well signposted. I wandered through their garden, marvelling at the sweet scented sweet peas, luscious vegetables and fruit which provided the backdrop to a wide range of herbaceous borders. In my experience, you know the gardener is really good when the plants you buy are still thriving in your own garden years later. The sights and smells of the garden were perfectly complemented by the most delicious homemade pie and freshly cooked home grown vegetables. These were followed by a pudding that still I still remember fondly today.
“But this was not all,” she continues. “When I entered their private rural life museum there was a superb collection of old toys many of which were of the sort which I remembered from my own childhood. There were also old tractors and collections of photographs and so much more that was simply fascinating. I will always be in huge admiration of Travis and Ann Rowlands. Their dedicated and long term support to Hospiscare is an inspiration.”
The couple’s years of selfless devotion, dedication and effort to both providing visitors with a first rate Sunday afternoon’s entertainment and to raising thousands of pounds for charity is certainly hugely appreciated by everyone here at Hospiscare.
Thank you Ann and Travis, you make an enormous difference to our patients and their families.
(Lower Ebear Garden & Museum, Westleigh, Tiverton EX16 7HP is open again for Hospiscare this year. Please visit to help them support us on 18 June 2017, 1.00pm - 5.00pm)
Open Gardens 2017 is kindly sponsored by Bernaville Nurseries.