MS Research and Relief Fund
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Britain in Bloom 2012

At MS Research and Relief Fund’s main office at Benmar House in Morpeth we have a memorial garden in memory of the late Paul Playford a former service user at Benmar House. We had discussed doing something with Paul’s memorial garden but unfortunately as we are a small team we couldn’t devote a lot of time to it.

Memorial Garden Sue Dowson, our Marketing & Networking Manager, talked to the Playford family and they were happy for us to develop the garden in any way we wanted! Sue spoke to Gillian Turner of Morpeth Town Hall and we were entered into the 2012 Britain in Bloom competition as their chosen charity in the voluntary sector, the theme being Insect & Wildlife friendly habitat.

Along with Sue MSRRF’s Stephen Brunning played a large role in developing the garden and we were fortunate enough to secure the support of Michael Dixon of “Gardens by    Michael Dixon” who quickly saw the potential of our garden and gave invaluable help, advice and support. We were also   fortunate enough to have the support of a group of volunteers who are members of the Blackadder's Touch Rugby Club from Whitley Bay. They started off by digging out the petal shapes in the gravel area, wheel-barrowing tons of top soil in and creating the flower beds now evident when visiting Benmar House. MSRRF Britain in Bloom
MSRRF Britain in Bloom Memorial Garden

The weather played havoc with our attempts to get the garden ready in time for judging, which was   delayed until July/August due to the lack of much needed sun to spur on growth. There are numerous wild-flowers planted in our garden some of which are: Yarrow, Corn Cockle, Snapdragon, Painted Daisy, Sweet William, California Poppy, Gypsophila Elegance, Evening Primrose, Forget-Me-Not and many more.


We genuinely believe that our efforts were instrumental in helping Morpeth win the competition for the 7th year running and we are enjoying the favourable comments from visitors as to how much the garden has transformed the approach to our front door.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to:

  • Gardens by Michael Dixon and Michael Dixon himself for the design and the hanging baskets
  • Blackadders Touch Rugby Team from Whitley Bay for all the groundwork (digging etc)
  • Mike Evans for rotovating the planting area
  • Rod McClellan and Pottergate Adult Learning Centre in Alnwick for providing flowers ready to plant
  • Morpeth Town Hall for the Wild Flower seeds
  • Ant Kirkland for heavy duty weeding and removing heavy rubbish
  • Nin Baptist for digging and Rock Shifting
  • Jean Brunning for providing tea, coffee and wonderful home baked cheese scones.
  • Amy Dunn, Angela Angus, Diane Charlton, Sue Dowson, Adam Charlton and Stephen Brunning for planting and looking after the flower beds and hanging baskets since the project showed signs of flowering.
  • Everyone who kindly devoted their own time to get the garden ready:


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A Registered Charity 228634

A company  registered as The Multiple Sclerosis Research and Relief Fund in
England, No. 795584

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