Wirrall Hospice to become home of Dianne Oxberry Sunshine Garden

Simon Austin's picture
Sunshine Garden

Wirral Hospice St John’s has been chosen to benefit from the BBC North West Tonight Sunshine Garden competition launched last month in memory of weather presenter Dianne Oxberry.

The garden will initially be installed at the RHS Flower Show in Tatton Park from 17-22nd July for the general public to enjoy before being moved to its new home at Wirral Hospice St John’s.

Staff, patients and families associated with the hospice will now work alongside award-winning gardener ‘Garden Ninja’ Lee Burkhill to help create the garden, which has a theme of sunshine in memory of Oxberry, who died from ovarian cancer earlier this year.

Once the RHS Flower Show comes to a close, the Sunshine Garden’s fixtures, plants, flowers and will be taken down and transported to be planted at the hospice soon after. 

The BBC NWT competition was launched in May and asked for cancer charities across the North West to apply to win the garden. More than 100 entries were received in total.

 Ian Hindle, Oxberry’s husband and one of the competition judges, said: “There were so many incredibly worthy candidates amongst the charities that applied to win Dianne’s Sunshine Garden, I wish they could all have won.

“It was such a difficult task to single out only one but in the end the judges chose Wirral Hospice St John’s because they had a lovely story to tell and I think with the dedication of the amazing volunteers, Dianne's garden will be a beautiful and inspiring place for years to come.”

Helen Parkinson, Clinical Services Manager at Wirral Hospice St John’s, added “Our bid document outlined just how much a welcoming, colourful and fragrant garden environment is a tonic for patients when they spend time outdoors at the hospice taking in the fresh air.

“The Sunshine Garden will add so much to their wellbeing. It’s an incredible extra reward for our army of volunteers, including patients, who have been involved in the makeover of our own hospice gardens this year.

“The garden will be a year-round reminder here of Dianne’s zest for life and cheerfulness. It will be a massive boost for our patients, their families, friends and any other visitors who would like to view the gardens, in memory of Dianne, at any time. We are so delighted.”