Plant sale raises a record amount

Markyate Plant Sale 2016
Markyate Plant Sale 2016

The 19th annual Markyate Plant Sale raised a record £9,836 for Berkhamsted’s Hospice of St Francis, beating last year’s total by more than £320.

The sale last month of over 7,000 plants to more than 700 green-fingered visitors will help the hospice to edge closer to the £4.8 million it needs every year to provide free care for people facing life-limiting illness in Herts and Bucks.

Waiting to pay at the Markyate Plant Sale 2016

Waiting to pay at the Markyate Plant Sale 2016

Event organiser Ian Bradley said: “We managed to reach a very wide audience through Facebook, Twitter, print and radio. The rain held off and everyone who came was in a buying mood.

“Thanks to our dedicated band of volunteers, we had over 50 varieties of high-quality plants for sale which were tended from plugs throughout the growing period in greenhouses kindly made available by Rothamsted Research.

“We sold over 130 of our ever popular pre-ordered hanging baskets and containers and, with The Ionian Clarinet Quartet entertaining guests throughout the morning as they enjoyed freshly brewed tea and coffee and delicious homemade cakes and rolls, how could we not have a successful party?”

Among the guests at this year’s event were Mayor of Dacorum Robert McLean, Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning and Alison Woodhams, the hospice’s chair of trustees.

Hospice fundraiser Sarah Ajder said: “I’m thrilled that the plant sale has broken all previous records – again. Ian and the team work so hard every year to make the event the success that it is and our heartfelt thanks go to them.

“Since the plant sale started in 1997, it has raised over £74,000 for the hospice.”