BBC NW Tonight Sunshine Garden

Here are photos of a team from Wirral Hospice visiting the BBC North West Tonight Sunshine Garden at RHS Tatton. It's a Facebook album but you shouldn't need a Facebook account to see the photos


Wirral Hospice St John's will be the home of BBC North West Tonight's Sunshine Garden, created in memory of BBC presenter, Dianne Oxberry


Wirral Hospice St John’s is delighted to receive the wonderful news that it has been chosen to become the permanent home of the North West Tonight Sunshine Garden, in memory of Dianne Oxberry, following its showcase at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.

The NW Tonight Sunshine Garden, designed by renowned ‘Garden Ninja’, Mr Lee Burkhill, has been created to reflect Dianne’s optimism, sunshine and enthusiasm, in an uplifting, bright and open-hearted garden.

Regional news programme BBC TV’s North West Tonight had, some weeks ago, asked local health organisations, particularly those who care and support people with cancer (and other life limiting conditions), to bid to host the garden in memory of Dianne.

At the time of Dianne’s passing she was the subject of fond reminiscence for many, many, people. Dianne was part of all of our lives. When the opportunity was announced, Julia Evans, Wirral Hospice’s Fundraising Development Manager, wasted no time in speaking to people around the hospice, nurses, volunteers, staff and supporters and the unanimous response was “we must take part, it would be brilliant.”

The bid document outlined just how much a welcoming, colourful and fragrant garden is a welcome tonic for hospice patients when they spend time outdoors taking in the fresh air. The North West Tonight Sunshine Garden will add so much to their wellbeing. Especially as we are undergoing a transformational Garden Makeover this year, which has already made significant progress thanks to the enormous generosity of our local Wirral community who have made donations of money, plants and hours upon hours of their time to help us over the last few months.

When the call came on Monday 10 June that Wirral Hospice St John’s had been selected to be thebeneficiaries of the NW Tonight Sunshine Garden there was an outpouring of joy around the whole hospice. It’s a massive honour for the hospice and a completely fitting tribute to Dianne.

The RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, between 17 and 21 July, will attract thousands of visitors from around the UK and Dianne’s garden will undoubtedly stir great interest and many heartfelt memories. As soon as the show is finished, the garden’s fixtures, plants, flowers and other adornments will be taken down and transported to be sited at the hospice and will be in place soon after.

Part of the vision of designer, Lee Burkhill, with Dianne’s family and friends, is that The North West Tonight Sunshine Garden will evolve so that new input and experimentation will come from patients and their families. This chimes perfectly with work that has been going on at the hospice throughout this year to makeover its garden, for its own NGS Open Garden weekend, part of the National Garden Scheme, on the weekend of 29 and 30 June 2019.

Helen Parkinson, Clinical Services Manager, who has overseen Wirral Hospice St John’s Garden Makeover, said: “It’s an incredible extra reward for our army of volunteers, including patients, who have been involved in the makeover of our hospice gardens this year. From August, Dianne’s garden will be a year round reminder of her zest for life and cheerfulness. It will be a massive boost for our patients, their families, friends and any other visitors who would like to visit and enjoy the hospice's gardens at any time. We are so delighted.”

Annabel Tiffin, North West Tonight presenter added, "It was such a difficult job deciding who should win the Sunshine Garden, every single nomination deserved it. But in the end we all agreed that Wirral Hospice St John’s just shone through as a worthy winner. Their love of gardening, and determination to create a special place for everyone at the hospice hopefully means the Sunshine Garden will continue to grow and bring pleasure to people for years to come, which I’m sure, is exactly what Dianne would have wanted."

Here are photos of Wirral Hospice's Garden Makeover here, including our very first National Garden Scheme (NGS) Open Garden weekend on Sat 29 & Sun 30 June 2019. It's a Facebook album but you shouldn't need a Facebook account to see the photos.

See also, more photos by Mike McTigue of Wirral Hispice's NGS Open Garden on Sat 29 June.

PDF of Wirral Hospice's Garden Makeover Project 2019

The overall aim was to have a more beautiful garden for our patients and their visitors to enjoy year round. What we previously had was small and very green / brown and well-kempt thanks to our lovely team of all-weather volunteers but not what anyone would describe as gorgeous. With a massive amount of help from the local community, what we have now is nothing short of astonishing!

How you helped us achieve our vision:
We asked for volunteers to help with the final weeding, scraping paths, dead heading before our grand opening on Sat 29 & Sun 30 June - and you came out in droves, bringing spades, hoes, rakes and brushes!

The Big Reveal we were working towards was us hosting our very own NGS Open Garden weekend on Sat 29 & Sun 30 June 2019:

Thank you so much to the followng for helping us to create our vision of a lovelier garden for our patients and their visitors:
Wirral Hospice's volunteers
Ellis Family | Greenway Family | Lees Family
Aspire Care Support Services | Barclays
Cheshire Freemasons | Charles Stephens
Heswall Round Table | Scouts & Beavers
Unilever | Vitaflow | Wirral Belles WI
& to anyone else who donated money and things we needed

Thank you!

Our garden will continue to evolve, including the integration of the BBC North West Tonight Sunshine Garden in memory of Dianne Oxberry. If you'd like to help in some way, please contact Teresa Nightingale, Head of Fundraising & Marketing:: 0151 343 0778 /, thank you so much in advance!

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