David’s garden efforts in memory of wife feature in new fundraising book for hospice

A GARDENER who began volunteering at a Dorset hospice after sadly losing his wife, has written a book about his experiences.

David Dawson has written of work to transform the grounds at Forest Holme in recent years.

Volunteer David hopes proceeds from the book, Forest Holme Flowers, will help provide more much-needed care.

The book is his personal account of how he, along with his fellow volunteer gardeners, dedicated time over the past few years to transform the garden at the Poole-based hospice into an oasis of calm and colour for patients and their families.

David’s volunteering efforts began nearly five years ago after he sadly lost his wife to cancer.

He wanted to give something back, especially as he had experienced first-hand the positive impact of the hospice and had enjoyed time outside in the garden with his wife before she died.

“When I learned of Forest Holme’s need for a volunteer gardener it was a no brainer,” he said.

“Having personally experienced the love and care given to my lovely wife by Forest Holme on her journey to heaven, to transform large areas of boring bark to attractive, colourful flower borders was a challenge worth taking to benefit all patients, visitors and staff to the hospice.

“I sincerely hope that my book will give enjoyment to all its readers, as it covers dedication, humour, community, empathy and teamwork proving that love and care strongly exist in the world we live in today.”

Kirsty Perks, from the charity, said: “David was instrumental in launching a drive to create the beautiful and tranquil garden space that the hospice has today.

“David not only goes out and about to collect plants and other items for the garden, but he also grows plants and flowers from seed at home in his greenhouse before transferring them to Forest Holme.

“He is a wonderfully gentle and kind soul who always has a smile on his face and is a joy to have around the Hospice when he is volunteering.”

Since taking on the role David, along with volunteer gardeners Viv and Petula, has estimated to have planted well over 3,000 plants, including at least 1,000 daffodils, as well as landscaping, creating borders and providing a weekly general up-keep of the outdoor spaces at the hospice which provides end-of-life and palliative care to people across Poole, Wimborne and Isle of Purbeck.

Forest Holme Flowers is available from the fundraising office at Forest Holme for £6, or by post for £7 (including p&p).

If you would like to purchase a copy contact the team either via telephone on 01202 670644, or by email to

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