SEVEN unique and stunning gardens in Haven are opening their doors to the public as part of Wimmera Hospice Care Auxilary's second yearly fundraiser 'Gardens of Haven'.
The COVID-safe event will be held on October 31, with a $15 ticket allowing the public to visit seven open gardens across Haven.
Afternoon tea will be held at Haven Hall on the day, with stalls selling donated plants and garden art. All funds raised will be donated to Wimmera's palliative care departments.
Wimmera Hospice Care Auxilary Events coordinator Lea Crammond said the Gardens of Haven event looked to replicate the success of earlier open garden fundraisers held by the group.
"We had an open garden a couple of years earlier and it went very well. I had this idea of perhaps keeping it in one area and I kept driving around Haven and thinking 'it is beautiful around here'," she said.
"I got in touch with a lady and she went around and asked some people if they would consider opening up their gardens and they all said yes.
"They have been working on them (gardens) for about a year to get them up to scratch for us. It has been a year-long work, which has been in handy in lockdown for them."
Ms Crammond said the past year had been difficult for the auxiliary, with COVID-19 lockdowns dampening the group's ability to fundraise.
She also said the costs of providing in-home palliative care had increased, as many patients were unable to freely access the hospital.
"It is all to raise funds of hospice. We look after four shires with this money, Yarriambiack, West Wimmera, Horsham and Hindmarsh. It is about 37,000 square kilometres," she said.
"The hospice team support all those in need of palliative care that wish to stay in their own home and they need equipment.
"During COVID more people have been staying at home and can't come into the hospital. The financial support we give them has tripled compared to what it used to be.
"Fundraising is absolutely vital to us because we don't get any government assistance in any way. Every penny we raise goes to this cause and we rely on donations and we rely on our fundraising."
Ms Crammond said the auxiliary has worked to make the event as COVID-safe as possible, with attendees only requiring one QR sign-in to access all seven gardens.
She encouraged everyone in the community to come down and support the event, regardless of the weather.
"Get out and wander around in the lovely weather and look at some beautiful gardens. Even if it is raining, bring an umbrella, the gardens are still beautiful," she said.
"Please come and support us, you never know when you are going to need this service.
"It is more vital than ever that we look after our own, and Horsham is very good at looking after its own."
The Gardens of Haven event will be hosted on October 31, from 1pm to 5pm. Tickets can be purchased on the day at Haven Hall, or ahead of time by calling Nola on 0407 810 544.
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