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Miniature world of quirky delights

A heavy downpour may have thwarted a creative couple's efforts to attract the public to their miniature world of quirky delights and raise money for Saint Francis Hospice but they certainly haven't given up. 
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Maureen Keating and Mark Hacker will reopen their beautiful garden in Barkingside on Sunday, August 9th from 1-5pm, after wet weather kept visitors in their homes last month. 

This is the sixth year they have opened the 40ft by 40ft outdoor space for the charity and what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in stunning plants, flowers and features.  

There are a variety of themes including a seaside, Japanese, woodland and secret garden.   

A replica café, a model village complete with people and a railway, along with a waterfall and man-made stream will also fascinate visitors, who will have the chance to sit back and relax as they soak up the atmosphere and take in their beautiful surroundings.     

Last year the natural retreat made it to the final four out of 1,800 in a national newspaper competition to find Britain's best garden.    

The retired pair, who have already raised almost £5,000 for the hospice, are clearly proud to showcase their labour of love and are hoping it will also inspire others to have a go themselves.    

"There are a lot of things that will make people smile as they walk around," said Maureen.  

"People are always amazed by the incredible colours in the garden which hit you as soon as you enter.    

"As the garden is small we have had to be very innovative and hopefully people will come and see that there is so much you can do with a small space.   

"We have done it all by ourselves and so they can too."    

To truly appreciate this magnificent garden go along to 254 Ashurst Drive,  Barkingside,

Essex, IG6 1EW. Entry costs £2.50.