Open Garden Benefits Local Hospital

Furze garden

A patient who was treated for cancer at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is saying thank you for his treatment by raising money for the hospital charity through the hosting of open garden events throughout the summer. Furze House at Rushall which is owned by Philip and Christine Greenacre will be open on Saturday 20th to Monday 22nd August (10am – 5pm).  The first open garden weekend held in June raised more than £5,000 over the weekend. Subsequently, with ‘by appointment’ garden visits, the couple have raised more than £7,000, and Philip and Christine are aiming to achieve £10,000 by the end of September.

The garden was first opened through the National garden Scheme in 2010 and the family raised money for charity each year until 2015 when Philip Greenacre was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Philip explained: “I had no symptoms, so going to the doctors was not a priority. I felt fine, but gradually I was worn down by the determined nagging of my two daughters. The first PSA test came back slightly higher than normal so a retest was booked for 3 months. The second test showed an increase so I was referred to a Urology consultant for a biopsy. The results from the biopsy stated 50% of the samples were cancerous.

“This was when the NHS, and especially the wonderful staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, really got going. The first step was a course of hormone tablets followed by hormone injections. I then became a member of the “37” club as I endured 37 days of radiotherapy. My treatment by the staff at the NNUH was nothing short of exceptional. Everyone always had a smile and was always positive.”

Philip and Christine decided to give ‘something back’ to the NNUH by opening their garden again this year, raising funds for the hospital charity, specifically for the prostate cancer department. To raise money there will be the second of their two open weekends, plus all ‘by appointment’ group visits.

Louise Cook, Fundraising Manager said: “It is incredible the amount of money Christine and Philip have already raised for our charity. The money raised will be going to benefit other cancer patients at the hospital. £5,000 of the funds has gone towards funding the purchase of an articulating, metal arm that bolts to an operating table at one end and holds a transrectal ultrasound probe at the other. This allows our doctors to be hands-free to perform template guided transperineal prostate biopsies.’

Philip and Christine Greenacre retired from farming in 2008 and  bought Furze House in Rushall with its two acres of land as their gardening project. When the Greenacres moved in the garden was no more than lawn, trees and 4 herbaceous beds. The garden has evolved over the last eight years and now boasts over 50 beds full of shrubs, perennials and rare plants sourced from around the United Kingdom and Europe. Furze House Garden entered the National Garden Scheme (NGS) yellow book in 2010 and received their five year certificate in 2015.

Furze House will be open the weekend of:  Saturday 20th to Monday 22nd August (10am – 5pm)

Entry – £3.50, children free, light refreshments and salad lunches available and dogs on leads welcome, for more information contact Philip on 01379 852375 or email

Tuesday 9th of August 2016 12:13:01 PM