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Community Garden at Abbeyfield

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Stonehill House Residential Care Home (Abbeyfield) in Churchway held the official opening of its new Community Garden on Friday 11th October.

Rather like the garden makeover programmes on TV, the project at Abbeyfield owes everything to the charitable efforts and gifts of local companies and volunteers.

The aim of the project has been to bridge gaps in society between young and old, business and charity — and to develop relationships in the community.

Not least among the contributors has been Landmark Garden Design, with Rodney Lovell leading the project and his two colleagues Chris Watling and George Gurden working onsite, free-of-charge, for the best part of three weeks.

Several other local companies and organisations also supplied materials, equipment, skips, etc., or provided volunteers to lend a hand — again, all free of charge.

Suppliers have included:

Volunteers included kind folks from Aston Rowant Cricket Club and their partners and from Eposability.

The garden's opening ceremony was conducted by local celebrity and professional actor, Bruce Alexander, who paid tribute to all the skilled and voluntary effort and extended warm thanks to those organisations that had donated materials.

He also read out the following poem by Thomas Edward Brown (1830-1897):

A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Rose plot,
Fringed pool,
Fern'd grot --
The veriest school
Of peace; and yet the fool
Contends that God is not --
Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool?
Nay, but I have a sign;
'Tis very sure God walks in mine.

After the opening ceremony, volunteers and guests joined Abbeyfield residents and staff in raising a glass of bubbly to mark the occasion and this was followed by a rather splendid tea party, with a substantial spread of cakes on offer.

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