NATIONAL Garden Scheme volunteers and garden owners in Powys have raised more than £15,000 for charities, despite not being able to open many of their gardens.

In a normal year, 50 or more garden owners in Powys open their gates to raise money for charity.

In March this year when we had hardly got going, the first lockdown came into force and, more than ever, funds were needed to support the nurses so volunteers in Powys put their heads together to find different ways of raising money.

This included selling plants at the roadside and in a bus shelter, garden owners recorded virtual garden visits and asked viewers to make donations – there was even a virtual cocktail party.

Volunteer Helen Anthony thanked all those who took part.

"In July we were able to invite people to visit some of our gardens on a pre-booked ticket scheme," she said.

"As a result we raised an amazing £15,000 which will help fund the work done by nursing charities including Macmillan, Marie Curie and the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

"A huge thank you to all of you who joined our virtual visits, donated plants for sale, bought our plants and made ‘real-live’ visits to our gardens and thank you to the Border Counties Advertizer for spreading the word about our openings.

"Thinking of different ways of raising money gave us a real focus during a difficult time. It was very rewarding to find that people supported our efforts.

"Although £15,000 is not nearly as much as we would normally raise given that most of our gardens were not able to open and those that did open were obliged to restrict the number of visitors this is a truly amazing result.”

For about openings in 20201, head to