As we head into the summer, the Greenfingers Charity is delighted to reveal that several new projects are well underway with one approaching completion and more in the pipeline for later this year. Linda Petrons, Director of Fundraising & Communications at Greenfingers, provides an update on the work of the charity undertaken so far in 2022.
Much has happened with the rest of the country throughout the pandemic, hospice communities relied on their gardens more than ever before during lockdowns. We are pleased to see that this trend has continued as the country opens up and people came to truly appreciate the benefits of beautiful and tranquil outdoor spaces.
With this increased usage came an increased burden of cost, however, especially now the cost-of-living crisis is affecting all walks of life in the UK. Whereas at one time the average cost of a Greenfingers Charity garden was between £30-£50k, the rising costs of materials and the complexity of our garden builds, means they now cost in the region of £100-£150k.
Creating gardens would not be possible without the ongoing fundraising efforts of our incredible supporters in the gardening industry and beyond, to whom we owe heartfelt thanks for the generous contributions which are allowing more seriously ill children and their families than ever before to benefit from a lovely outdoor space, close to nature.
This quarter we are also delighted to report that we have appointed a new Garden Projects Manager, Jo Murray, who is working alongside our Freelance Garden Project Manager, Joanne Kennedy, to help deliver some of the amazing projects that are now underway or in the pipeline.
Jigsaw Cumbria's Children's Hospice – Carlisle
Designed by Bruce Walker, work on the Jigsaw Cumbria’s Children Hospice in Carlisle began in early June and is expected to be completed in July. With the help of Ian Howe Landscapes, Bruce has been busy transforming a dull outdoor space into a fun and stimulating play area for children with complex disabilities and their families. A Cumbrian native himself, Bruce has created a cohesive design using the colours of the Jigsaw logo, featuring a ‘Green Jungle Garden’, ‘Yellow Wildlife Garden’ and an ‘Indigo Sensory Area’ for relaxation. This wonderful garden space also includes a bright blue art area, sage green play area and orange kitchen garden for growing herbs and experimenting with seeds and grow-your-own projects
The Nook – Norfolk
Officially opened by HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge in 2019, The Nook is East Anglia’s Children Hospice’s (EACH) newest site. With a masterplan design created by Gold-medal winning designer Anne-Marie Powell, Greenfingers will bring two new gardens within the master plan to life. Firstly, The Rest & Reflect Garden, located at the top of the site, has only been possible thanks to a generous donation from the lead sponsor, Clarins. This beautifully tranquil space incorporates quiet corners where families can relax together.
The second part of The Nook project is The Nest, which is being supported by fundraising from Evergreen Garden Care. As well as their superb efforts on Garden Re-Leaf Day, the London Landmarks Half Marathon and at the 2021 and 2022 Chelsea Flower Shows, the Evergreen team will also be embarking on the Three Peaks Challenge later this year. These two new gardens will be connected by wheelchair-accessible pathways designed to encourage participation, funded by invaluable support from LOFA, My Real Garden, Garden Re-Leaf Day and others.
Demelza Hospice – Sittingbourne, Kent
Based in Sittingbourne, Kent, Demelza Hospice Care for Children is the site of Greenfingers’ first-ever garden. Taking charge of the design for a new part of the hospices outside space is designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin from multi-award-winning garden designers, Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer. The new garden will be given a full revamp by Andrew and his team, including works to the pond and a new wildlife safari featuring wild meadow area pollinators, plus an ant walk and animal highway. This garden, which will be accessible to all those who spend time in the hospice, will also have the largest bug hotel in the whole of Kent!
Part of this newly refreshed garden space may look familiar to some, thanks to the inclusion of some elements from Baz Grainger’s 2021 RHS Hampton Court show garden.
Derian House, Chorley
Come the autumn, garden designer, Chris Forshaw, will begin transforming the tired courtyard garden at Derian House into a beautiful area for hospice residents and their families. At present, the garden here is only accessed via the main hospice building and bedrooms, which disrupts the crucial privacy of these areas. Tackling this issue was a key priority of Chris’ design, where a mixture of interactive zones will be linked together by a central covered space. Imaginative and subdued lighting and extra seating which maintains the privacy for bedrooms overlooking the garden have also been incorporated into the design.
IN THE PIPELINE
In addition to these ongoing projects, the Greenfingers charity has more projects in the pipeline.
The first of these is at Acorns Hospice, Walsall. The hospice is currently undergoing a refurbishment inside the building and, once this is complete, Greenfingers is looking forward to working with the team to bring the new interior look and feel into the outdoor garden space.
The second project coming up is at Hope House, Oswestry, where Greenfingers will be working with the hospice to create an exciting new masterplan design for their entire outside space. Once a plan has been settled upon, the Greenfingers team will go on to create a holistic garden within the grounds of the hospice.
Finally, the charity is also expecting more new applications from a host of other hospices where discussions have recently been opened. Additionally, the charity is also revisiting older Greenfingers gardens to ensure they continue to thrive and can be enjoyed by the entire hospice community. This has only been possible thanks to a generous donation from a private donor. Helen & Douglas House in Oxford, Keech Hospice Care in Luton and Richard House in East London have recently benefitted from the initiative.
Ty Hafan - Vale of Glamorgan
Greenfingers’ 63rd garden, completed in November 2021, had its opening ceremony on Wednesday, April 27th. The new sensory garden – designed by Victoria Wade – offers year-round accessibility and is designed to encourage biodiversity, sustainability, and wildlife, helping the children to connect with the natural world. The Greenfingers charity is grateful to The Heritage Lottery, the Postcode Lottery and many more friends of the charity for supporting this project.
Haven House - Woodford Green, Essex
At Haven House in Woodford Green, Essex, the Greenfingers charity helped to create a ‘place to escape to’ for the patients, families, and friends, as well as the staffing team. The new Reflective Garden was designed by award-winning RHS Chelsea designer, Tom Hoblyn and built by Stewarts Landscapes. The work has now been completed and is helping to breathe new life into an unused area of woodland at the rear of the hospice. An official opening ceremony is due to take place in September.
Find out more
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