Expats in France raise thousands for hospital garden charity

Published:  12 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: France, USA, South Africa
Five expat couples living and gardening in France have raised thousands for charity by opening their stunning gardens to the public.

On just one day in June, the five green-fingered expat couples known locally as Le Quintette opened their prized gardens to the public, raising almost £5,000 for a local charity in just one day. Almost a thousand visitors arrived to view the spectacular horticultural displays and landscaping put together by the dedicated gardeners, with the amount raised adding up to twice the total received from their first opening in 2017. The couples live on the border between the two French provinces of Rhone and Saone et Loire, with three of the gardens in close proximity to each other, another slightly further away and the fifth set within Beaujolais wine country some 15 kilometres distant.

Jardins et Sante is the charity benefiting from the open days, with its president Anne Chahine saying she’s thrilled by the amount as it's far more than had been expected. Jardins et Sante is linked to the French National Gardens scheme and runs garden projects in a number of specialist hospitals and social medical establishments across France which care for patients with brain disease. Chahine explained the hospital gardens were intended as places where sufferers could relax and be soothed as well as mentally stimulated by natural beauty, the sound of birds and the perfume of the flowers. The association now has 60 gardens set in the grounds of hospitals across the country.

All the Le Quinette couples are looking forward to opening their gardens to the public again next year and hoping they can attract more like-minded gardeners in order to boost their fundraising for the charity. Selecting this particular charity was easy, they said, explaining that they’d spoken with a mutual friend who’d seen the charity exhibiting at another gardening event and was very impressed, . Since the friend has a disabled granddaughter, it seemed fitting to choose Jardins et Sante.
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