Staffs couple open garden to help Alzheimer’s Research UK funds bloom

Posted on 8th June 2016

A green-fingered couple from Staffordshire are inviting people to enjoy the fragrant splendour of their cottage garden this summer to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Margaret and Peter Hargreaves, of Barton-under-Needwood, have been holding open days at Grafton Cottage for over 20 years as part of the National Gardens Scheme. In that time they have raised over £65,000 for various charities, including over £10,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity. The first open day in 2016 will be on Sunday 3 July.

Hundreds of people flock to the garden each summer, which the couple have been cultivating for over 40 years, to explore the colourful, perfumed borders full of classic roses, sweet peas, violas, phlox and more. There are also over 100 clematis. As in previous years, Margaret and Peter will be donating a quarter of the total they raise to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Margaret and Peter Hargreaves
Margaret and Peter Hargreaves


Margaret, a hairdresser, and Peter, an accountant at Smith Cooper in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, will be serving cream teas with scones, homemade cakes and jam created from their own home-grown produce. Margaret also sells a selection of plants she has propagated.

Margaret said of their motivation for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK’s ground-breaking dementia research:

“We can’t wait to welcome people to our garden once again this year. It’s constantly evolving and we really try and improve on it each year. I love collecting unusual plants, so people will see something a little different. As well as being able to explore the garden, I think people enjoy the social aspect of it. It’s a great day out and a wonderful chance to support various charities, including the dementia research experts, Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“As a hairdresser, some of the clients I come into contact with have dementia. It’s heart-breaking to see how the condition can rob people of their memories. Our open days are a lot of hard work, but knowing the money we raise will help in the search for new treatments makes it all worthwhile.”

There are four open days planned across the summer, plus group appointments can be arranged in advance.

Zoe Baggott, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“When there are an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and around 700,000 informal carers, it is hugely important that we do all we can to beat this awful condition. We are extremely grateful to Margaret and Peter for their fantastic fundraising over the years. The money they raise helps bring us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”

Grafton Cottage, in Barr Lane, Barton-under-Needwood, will open from 11.30am-5pm on Sunday 3 July, 17 July, 7 August and 14 August. Entry is £4 for adults, while children go free. Group appointments can also be arranged from 16 June to 31 August. For more information, call Margaret and Peter on 01283 713639.

For more information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit

Posted in Fundraising news