Guernsey Press

Les Cotils opens its gardens to visitors for the Ivy Trust

VISITORS to Les Cotils were stunned by the beauty and diversity of its gardens on a Sunday afternoon.

Les Cotils held an open garden for the public to walk and admire the space. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32350506)

At the request of Floral Guernsey, the Christian centre invited the public to tour its numerous gardens, set in 12 acres.

Donations were invited to raise money for the Ivy Trust, which supports parents who experience the death of a baby during pregnancy or soon after birth.

‘When you come into Les Cotils from the front, you don’t appreciate the extent of the beautiful gardens and stunning view out the back.

‘The range of gardens is very diverse. It’s enjoyable to spend time here,’ said Nicholas Gray, a Scot who visits Guernsey regularly.

His wife Wendy enjoyed the fauna as well as the flora.

‘I have particularly enjoyed seeing the butterflies. There are many different types of butterfly in these gardens, including quite an unusual one apparently,’ she said.

The event was also a chance for Les Cotils to showcase one of its key developments of last year – the opening of the Pat Merriman Peace Garden.

‘We should say “thank you” to Emma, who looks after the peace garden for about 20 hours a week. She does a fantastic job to keep it looking like this,’ said Andy Hall, chairman of the trustees of the centre.

‘A lot of people have visited the peace garden and the other gardens today and found a lot of joy seeing them, which we’re pleased about.’

Among them were Tony and Anne Cherry, who spent time admiring the peace garden from a bench erected in memory of Tony’s late parents, Jim and Peggy Cherry.

‘We have been staying at Les Cotils for a few days. It’s a lovely setting. It’s very beautiful and peaceful, including the gardens,’ said Anne.

Wendy and Norman Wilkinson enjoyed walking in the wildflower meadow before relaxing with a cup of tea in front of the splendid coastal views from the centre’s east terrace.

‘The meadow is just beautiful. We have sent some pictures over to our daughter, who is in the UK, so she can enjoy them too,’ said Mrs Wilkinson.

‘Even if we saw only that, it would be enough, but it’s only one part of the beautiful gardens here.’

Wendy and Barry Evans were also impressed.

‘It’s so peaceful here. We have done the whole tour, taking in all the wonderful gardens,’ said Mrs Evans.

‘The sights and smells are beautiful. The lavender and salvia are stunning.

‘It’s a very beautiful place and it’s lovely to see it on a nice day like this.’