A devoted husband who opened his garden gates to raise money for a charity close to his heart was left overwhelmed by the way visitors helped his event bloom.
Chris Whitaker-Webb (41), owner of Trawden’s Dent Hall, took part in the NGS Gardens Open For Charity scheme following the death of his wife Jules in August, 2012.
He invited guests into the idyllic grounds of his 400-year-old Grade 2 listed building, which include lawns, shrubbery, and a hidden summerhouse, to give something back to NGS.
He also nominated Pendleside Hospice, who provided him with one-to-one bereavement counselling, to receive 25% of the funds raised. The two-day event attracted around 400 people, and drove up more than £2,000.
Chris said: “People were given time to walk around the garden, drink tea and eat cake. The weather was kind to us, and it went better than expected.
“It was non-stop and everybody was asking me questions about the garden. I think I will do it every year now.
“The garden had started to fall into neglect after Jules died, and it wasn’t enough to garden just for me. Joining the NGS gave me an extra push and an incentive to look after it properly.”
Following the open day, Pendleside Hospice fund-raiser Vikki Haydock said: “Chris is really nice and his story really touched a few of us in the fund-raising team.
“Our fund-raising manager and a few volunteers went down to the event and some of us went down before to take pictures - the garden is really beautiful, and we do appreciate him giving money to us.”