Trawden husband to open garden gates in memory of wife

A loving husband is set to give something back to the charity that helped him after the death of his wife.

Monday, 9th June 2014, 12:00 pm
Chris Whitaker-Webb at Dent Hall (S)

Owner of Trawden’s Dent Hall, Chris Whitaker-Webb, will be opening the gates to his 400-year-old Grade II listed building’s gardens as part of the NGS Gardens Open for Charity scheme.

Taking place on June 14th and 15th, Mr Whitaker-Webb has nominated Pendleside Hospice as the charity to benefit from 25% of the funds raised at the event.

The 41-year-old said: “After my wife Jules died in August 2012, I learned that the hospice provided one on one bereavement counselling, which I took advantage of and found immeasurably helpful, so I decided to nominate the hospice to benefit from 25% of the monies raised at the open garden event.

“The garden was Jules’ project really and allowed her to use her creativity, to nurture, develop and of course enjoy it on the good days; but it also provided a place of refuge and solitude to hide away from the world (often tucked away in our summerhouse with a bottle of wine and a good book or DVD) on the bad days.

“After she died I found it initially difficult to spend time in the garden and it started to get neglected, so joining the NGS provided me both with the incentive to look after it properly so I could enjoy it and remember her in it, and also the opportunity to give something back.”

The Dent Hall gardens feature a Parterre, lawns, herbaceous borders, shrubbery, a wildlife pond with bridge to seating area, and a hidden summerhouse in woodland area. The NGS was founded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute in 1927. In 1980, it was made an independent charity and in 2005 it was made a charitable company. Funds are raised annually by visitors paying to attend open gardens and to enjoy home-made teas or buying plants.

Other charities who will benefit from open day events include Macmillan, Help the Hospices and Marie Curie.

Admission on the open days is £3.50 for adults, and free for children. Home-made teas will be available throughout both days.