A library in a Suffolk market town has opened a garden in memory of its former manager.

The garden is in honour of former Halesworth Library manager Ali Hopkins who died in 2019.

Money raised by the Friends of Halesworth Library was spent on refurbishing and improving the library’s small garden to commemorate Mrs Hopkins life and her contribution to the local community.

Around 50 people, including her family, representatives of Suffolk Libraries, the library’s Friends Group and other guests, came together to cut the ribbon and celebrate the new garden space.

%image(14581635, type="article-full", alt="The moment the ribbon was cut by Mrs Hopkins's grand-daughter Scarlett and Ali's daughter Justine.")

The garden has been designed to reflect the colours and plants which Mrs Hopkins liked and to be a pleasant place to sit and read a book, chat or relax all year round.

%image(14581636, type="article-full", alt="The new garden at Halesworth Library.")

The garden’s colourful murals have been incorporated into the new design including a specially commissioned new mural which includes subtle references to Mrs Hopkins and her life.

New lighting and a water feature have been installed and there is also a new woven willow reader on top of the pergola.

%image(14581639, type="article-full", alt=""A lovely place to sit, relax and read."")

Alison Britton, from the Friends of Halesworth Library, said: "It has been a long journey, partly thanks to Covid, since we began planning the garden in January 2020.

"In that time many people have worked hard to fundraise, construct the garden, fill it with colour and produce artworks for it.

"We are delighted that we have now completed all our hoped-for plans and can, for the moment, call it finished.

"With the input of her family and those who knew her well, we feel we have created something that Ali would have loved, both for its beauty and for the fact that it has made the garden an extra room for people to relax in and where events can take place.”

%image(14581641, type="article-full", alt="The ribbon was cut by Mrs Hopkins's grand-daughter Scarlett and Ali's daughter Justine.")

Sylvia Knights, vice chair of Suffolk Libraries, said: “Ali leaves a wonderful legacy, so much of the fabric of this library is here as a result of her vision, commitment and sheer hard work.

"Having this beautiful garden, which I know Ali would love, is a lovely space in which people can sit and enjoy their personal memories of Ali.”