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Gallery: ‘Mesmerising’ Barkingside garden complete with model village and railway set to welcome neighbours for charity open day

Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice. Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
9:30 AM

A secret garden, model village and man-made stream are among sights residents can gaze upon when a unique garden opens up to the public.

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Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.

Maureen Keating and Mike Hacker will welcome neighbours to their garden next Sunday in the hopes of raising hundreds of pounds for Saint Francis Hospice.

This will be the tenth time the couple open their doors for charity and the fifth that the hospice has been supported.

Maureen, of Ashurst Drive, Barkingside, said: “We wanted to do it for a local charity as it is local people who have come and supported us.

“We tend to get a lot of people who come back every year to see what we have done - they are quite mesmerised by it.”

Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.

The garden, described by Maureen as a “riot of colour,” boasts attractions such as a mini railway, seven water features, a gazebo and a cafe, as well as “lots of little surprises on the way”.

It has been a labour of love for keen gardeners Maureen and Mike, who have been together for 13 years.

Maureen said: “We were both working, but when we retired we put our hearts and souls into this.

“Mike does the structural work and I do the planting.”

Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.Maureen Keating is opening up her garden to the public for a day to raise money for Saint Francis Hospice.

The couple have raised £3,716 over the last five years for the hospice, which cares for people with life-limiting illnesses.

Last year, 120 people attended the open day and £1,000 was made.

Maureen added: “Every penny we raise for the hospice is well spent. We are dependent on the weather, but if we get a good day I am sure we will do as well as last year.”

Entry into the garden at 254 Ashurst Drive will be £2.50 and refreshments will be available. There will also be plants for sale.

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