Garden Path theme for annual flower festival

Blooming beautiful - that's Christchurch Methodist Church annual flower festival.

The event always provides a colourful and glorious highlight to bank holiday weekend and leaves visitors marvelling at the level of skill and artistry involved in creating the many stunning displays.

This year sees the 22nd annual festival and the theme is Down The Garden Path, which runs from Saturday May 29 through to Monday May 31.

Spokesman Barry Turnwell said: "It will be a trip into the various different aspects of a garden and will include the patio, Granny's Arbour, Mother's favourite border, the water feature, the pond, the play area and many other displays - and even Dad's shed!

"There is bound to be much colour and invention around the exhibits, and the whole weekend is directed by members of the church Ladies' Supper Club - with plenty of help from their friends."

The festival is open on Saturday and Monday from 10-4.30pm and on these days stalls, competitions, light refreshments, lunches and cream teas will be avialable.

The festival is also open on Sunday afternoon from 2-4.30pm, when cream teas will be served.

Special services at 10.30am and 6pm on the Sunday will be led by the former Minister of the church, Rev Roger Leslie.

Barry added: "Each year the festival raises funds for charities and this year it is upporting the British Heart Foundation appeal for provision of an Echo machine at the Conquest Hospital to help many heart patients in our area.

"Also to receive funds will be the Mercy Ships charity that uses ships to provide a portable, stable environment in which to deliver operations unavailable in most developing nations, and also the setting up of permanent land centres in these places. Some local church projects will also be supported.

"Admission is free with donations kindly received for the worthwhile causes. The church always receives good support and looks forward to welcoming friends old and new to this year's festival."

The adjacent Centenary Housechurch and community centre will also be used for activities.