Last week was one of those special weeks in fundraising.

It was five days that made me realise how much can be made possible when we ask for help and then let it come to us from all directions.

A few months ago Cherry Trees was approached by the organisers of Shere Open Gardens to run the plant stall.

We said yes – straight away and then we stopped and thought ‘where will all the plants come from’?

A challenge!

What a response we had and the places we were lead to. It was a memorable and special week working for Cherry Trees, resulting in a colourful and beautiful array of hundreds of plants.

It didn’t take us too long to find all sorts of places that wanted to not only donate but it was the quantities given, colour and range of plants, herbs, vegetables and even a Wisteria tree.

Over the course of five days with just a large car and two very excited fundraisers (myself and Debbie Boulter) we traversed across Surrey to all sorts of places to pick up what would become our nursery of over 300 plants.

I’ve seen and been into people’s private gardens, entered gated mansions in Cobham, wheeled a cart across a site of scientific development in seed production, and stood amongst rows and rows of colour at a private nursery that made me feel like I was in the midst of a mini Amsterdam – images of their multi coloured fields of flowers evoked as the tick tick of sprinklers pricked the humidity.

Quietly situated on the Horsley road to Cobham is Cedar Nurseries. It could be easy to miss this site. City like grids of beautifully tended plants laid out weave up and down, whilst Wicker roofed summer houses beckoned amongst the potted lavenders. I found myself disappearing into day dreams of summer evenings entertaining friends out late till the dew kissed the summer grass underfoot…..

Once all the plants had been picked up, we realised we had a whole nursery to look after.

Desk duties became interspersed with twice daily watering sessions, lugging cans across the car park to our own hastily assembled nursery with very little shade in the rapidly ascending heat.

With a little help from our friends at Tozers Seeds, the plants were driven to Shere where they sat under the stars in the playground of the school for two nights. I worried if they would be okay – would they survive the hottest day of the year? What if someone climbed over the fence and did a plant raid? It hadn’t taken long for Debbie and I to cluck around them like a pair of hens tending to their leaves and heads with pride and care.

On Sunday 30th June over 2,000 people visited Shere Open Gardens. Within minutes of laying the first few plants out sales were taken carrying away sage, busy lizzies, parsley, broccoli plants, dahlias…. We raised £400 on our plant stall which we are told was a record taking for the stall on previous years.

The pride and passion that many gardeners feel was also felt by us in our own way. After a week of finding all these places, people and plants which we had in the interim period adopted, we had become gardeners in our own right. We proudly told people about all about them but more importantly about the place it would benefit - Cherry Trees.  Over £14,000 was raised by Shere Open Gardens and we thank the organisers for nominating us as one of the beneficiary charities as well as: Tozer Seeds, the residents of East Clandon and Cobham, RHS Wisley, R C Kemp and Son, Longacre’s Garden Centre and Cedar Nursery.