Open to a charity request


Hambrooks have been delighted to support local charity, Open Sight, with a new garden to help welcome visitors to their Bishopstoke centre.  As part of the charity’s centenary celebrations, the garden was formally opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex on 17th November.

Open Sight offer a range of services for those with, or at risk of, sight loss. Support can include advice on independent living, support for families, advice on benefits and help with using smartphones and other devices. When their purpose-built premises near Eastleigh was first completed, the small area at the front was turned into an attractive garden but it had grown a little tired since then.

“Open Sight’s Head of Fundraising, Vanessa Eden, got in touch to ask if we might be able to help them out with a garden redesign,” explained Sam Foster, one of the Hambrooks Garden Designers. “She also asked if we are happy to work to deadlines: Vanessa rang early in November hoping that the garden could be finished in time for The Countess of Wessex’ visit less than two weeks later.  Fortunately, we enjoy rising to a challenge!”

“Open Sight were happy to leave the design to Norman [Hambrook] and me,” Sam said.  “We were keen to include a range of features in the design that would appeal to visitors, from scented plants to a handrail for safety and different textures underfoot.  They also asked us to incorporate a hole somewhere in our design that would be suitable for a time capsule, to help commemorate the charity’s one hundredth anniversary.”

With the design completed, the Hambrooks Landscaping team made a start on the build itself.  They had just three days, but it all came together in time, in spite of some very mixed weather.

HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is passionate about eradicating avoidable blindness and, amongst her other charitable work, is patron of a number of sight-related charities in the UK including Blind Veterans UK, Guide Dogs for the Blind and IAPB, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. The Countess’ eldest child, Lady Louise Windsor, was born with a rare eye condition called Esotropia, one of several types of Strabismus, the condition of eye turns or deviating eyes.  Although Lady Louise’ sight is perfect now, the experience really struck home with the Countess.  She was, therefore, delighted to make the special visit to Open Sight during their centenary year to celebrate all the work they do for those with sight loss.

Sam Foster was very pleased to be able to change his working clothes for something a little smarter to represent Hambrooks at the celebration event on 17th November. Sam even had the opportunity to exchange a few words with the Countess of Wessex.  “I was with a number of other volunteers and Sophie came round to speak to us all individually.  She thanked us for donating our time and expertise to Open Sight as, like many charities, they would struggle to exist without volunteers and donations like this.”

Read about the Coronation Planter that we donated to Open Sight here, or read about some of our charity support here.




N. Haggard 20 September 2022

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how delighted I am with my new garden.

Jon, my designer, listened to my ideas and delivered on everything I asked for. I wanted something different to any garden I’d had before, no lawn, no landscaping but packed with plants. He designed such a lovely secret garden, around a statement tree. And I have to commend him for his unwavering patience! I changed my mind a hundred times but never did he give me the impression that he was losing patience with my endless indecision. And my confidence in him led me to place an order for over £10k.

My landscaping team, Blade and Tony, were exceptional, from their work ethic, skill and knowledge, to the way they dealt with me, the customer. My standards are very high and I couldn’t fault them.

All in all, a very professional team of people. And it showed that they all care. I’m over the moon with the finished result. I will send you a before and after photo. Thank you so much.

A delighted customer.

G. Gray. May 2022

My front garden has been transformed by Andy and Bradley who both worked incredibly hard and I am delighted with the result. Andy had the vision and skill to turn my idea into reality and I can't thank him enough.

C. Haig Sept 2021

We recently had our garden landscaped by Hambrooks and I just wanted to pass on my thanks, not just for the outcome - which is superb - but for the professionalism of all the staff involved on the job who are all a credit to you company. Mike, Dave, Les and Adam.

H. Sharp Sept 2021

I just wanted to let you know how delighted I am with my new garden. Melanie was a delight to work with and the ideas she had have worked perfectly. Also Sheldon laid the patio beautifully and him and Dave were a pleaseure to have at my house. Quiet workers and polite.

B. Rendell April 2021

I would like to say how delighted we are with the work carried out. Mel, Paul and Tony all worked very hard, they totally took on board the specific need relating to safety as well as the general garden issues. Paul and Tony were excellent at consulting and discussing with me what I felt best in terms of the brief and adjusting if and as necessary, constantly pleasant and polite to deal with. Mel had picked up on particular issues from the first consultation and offered valuable advice. The outcome means a great deal less worry for me going forward.
Altogether a very positive experience and outcome which I would not hesitate to recommend to others.

Stephen March 2021

Dom and Adam's work (garden maintenance) is greatly appreciated. Dom really listened to everything we discussed very carefully and went out of his way to understand and then act upon that discussion. We are extremely pleased with the work done - both to the pond and pyracantha.


We have been coming to Hambrooks for years and it's our favourite garden centre because of its friendly helpful staff and a great selection of plants and trees and the garden design ideas.

“We wanted to write and say how pleased we are with our low maintenance garden makeover. We are very impressed with the attitude of your staff who were prepared to listen to our requirements. Your team John and Rick brushed up and left everything tidy at the end of the day. We now have a garden we can manage and it looks great. THANK YOU HAMBROOKS.”

Mr & Mrs Venables, Southampton. April 2019

“Dear Josh & Mike We just want to say you both did a brilliant job of designing our garden along with the guys who did the work who were amazing. A few weeks on its looks even better now some of the plants are blooming. Thank you!!”

Mr & Mrs Gazzard, Winchester July 2019

“To James, John & Rikki. Thank you so much, we are delighted with our new garden. We really appreciate the attention to detail, the high quality workmanship and the standard of the finished project. We are amazed at how John & Rikki resolved the difficulties of the site and by the quality of their craftmanship. It was a pleasure to work with them and thank you for making our ideas into something we will enjoy for years to come.”