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An Evening With Monty Don

On Thursday 5th of May I was very fortunate to spend my evening as part of a small audience sat in front of Herefordshire's gardening legend, Monty Don.

The event was in aid of raising money for St Michael's Hospice, a hospice based in Bartestree that cares for the terminally ill and provides support for their families. If you speak to anyone in Herefordshire, flip a coin, and the chances are that through some point in their lives they have had an unfortunate connection with the hospice.

Monty, casually interviewed by Presenter Kate Bliss, took us through the various stages in his life, how his interest in gardening began & later developed, and gave us an insight into the manic schedule of working in TV. After the talk we had the chance for some Q&A's. Well, I couldn't miss the opportunity to ask Monty Don a question! So amongst various questions on gardening (transplanting trees, lifting dahlias (or not!), aspects...) I took my opportunity and asked which is his favourite Georgian Landscape Garden to visit in the UK. He replied with William Kent's Rousham in Oxfordshire.

Moving on from the Q&A's, the evening finished off with an auction to raise money for St Michael's. This is when things really took off! The lots contained a personally signed copy of Monty's famous 'The Complete Gardener', one of my Cretan terracotta pots, and finished with a personal visit and tour of Monty's garden, Longmeadow. This was only the third time Monty had opened his garden to a public visitor (the last had apparently invited themselves around...) - so you can only imagine the interest.

Out of 6 lots and only a small room of bidders, a round total of approximately £20,000 was raised! A tremendous effort for such an emotive cause and I was thrilled to see one of my Cretan terracotta pots complimented by Monty and to raise a substantial amount.

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