Added on 20 January 2010

Sherborne garden lovers will be treated to a Gardening Extravaganza on Wednesday 24 February at the Digby Hall, Hound Street, as part of an initiative by the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles to help end the war against polio.

The Extravaganza will feature an illustrated talk by Mark Lane, the Head Gardener at Buckingham Palace, when the audience will be treated to some of the stories associated with this magnificent 39 acre royal garden in the middle of Westminster. Some of the Sherborne area's own garden experts will also be on hand for a local version of "Gardeners' Question Time". An area of demonstrations and displays will present both the unusual and the practical. An insight into the art of Japanese gardening will be will shown through the use of a Japanese ladder; specialists from Sherborne's Castle Garden Centre, part of The Gardens Group, will be demonstrating pruning techniques and ideas for creating Spring tubs and water features; botanical prints and cards will be displayed by illustrator Christine Battle, a distinguished graduate of the Chelsea Physic Garden; the organisers of the gold award-winning Sherborne in Bloom event will outline plans for 2010.

The initiative is part of Rotary's national Thanks for Life campaign; this will see hundreds of Rotary clubs across Great Britain and Ireland linking up with schools, businesses, organisations and individuals to hold a range of fund-raising events to raise the £1 million target set for the week of 22nd February (Thanks For Life - Rotary Day, Tuesday, February 23, 2010 is Rotary's 105th birthday).

Tickets for Sherborne's Gardening Extravaganza are available at Castle Gardens, Sherborne's garden centre, part of The Gardens Group.

Michael Peart, President of the Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles, said: "We are so close to stamping out polio and we hope this fun event will encourage more people to get behind the initiative. It is vital that we eradicate it from the four remaining endemic countries or the likelihood is that the disease will spread again to the countries which have been cleared. With the public's help we can destroy polio once and for all."

"Rotary has been involved in this fight for 25 years and the world is so close to being free from polio for good, thanks to the joint hard work of organisations and governments. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given $355 million, setting Rotary the challenge of raising $200 million in partner funding by June 2012. Every £1 raised in this campaign will purchase five doses of the special anti-polio vaccine. These children will be protected against polio - forever. How fantastic for our community to join the fight and be able to say, 'I helped to wipe out a disease for only the second time in history, after smallpox. I stopped children from dying - I helped make the world a safer place'."

The Rotary Club of Sherborne Castles has so far raised nearly a thousand pounds towards polio eradication and hopes to achieve its own target of £3,000 by the beginning of 2012. Interested residents should contact Roger Johnson ( or 01935 814307) or visit


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