Working with dedicated charity partners, we support the creation of peaceful, safe havens for rehabilitation. The gardens are designed to nourish and nurture those who have become vulnerable and isolated due to mental ill health. Trainee gardeners gain an inclusive sense of community and practical skills. There is also the opportunity to gain new qualifications in horticulture, paving the path to long-term employment.
News from our Gardens
THE OLD ENGLISH GARDEN, LONDON
Our first project, the Old English Garden, opened in 2012 in London’s Battersea Park. Here we partner with UK charity Thrive who use gardening to change the lives of those living with physical disability and mental ill health. The team who created it and continue to care for the garden live with these challenges every day. Recently they have continued the careful restoration of the wisteria and planted a host of new bulbs from alliums to crocuses and white anemones.
REDHALL WALLED GARDEN, EDINBURGH
In Edinburgh we support the SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) Redhall Walled Garden. At Redhall, SAMH offers training in horticulture, conservation and life skills to people living with mental ill health. Since the restoration of the herb garden and roundhouse last year, our partnership has continued to flourish. Trainees have created a terrace garden around the summerhouse, new seating areas and a regeneration of the greenhouse area.
“Struggling to get up is now a thing of the past. The peaceful environment in the garden is very therapeutic and gives me the opportunity to take a moment and reflect on the past two years. I realise it is really good to be alive.” – Trainee Gardener
THE KIRKDALE COUNTRY COMMUNITY GARDEN, LIVERPOOL
In 2014 we opened the Kirkdale Country Community Garden with Rotunda, a community centre in Kirkdale, Liverpool. Kirkdale is in the top 1% areas of national poverty and mental ill health is experienced by many of its inhabitants. Working with Rotunda we have given a new heart to the community, creating a sense of wellbeing and pride in the local area. Recently volunteers have grown delicious vegetables and have enjoyed trying their produce.
THE CASTLE PARK PHYSIC GARDEN, BRISTOL
We supported St Mungo’s to create The Castle Park Physic Garden in Bristol. As one of the UK’s leading homeless charities St Mungo’s works to end homelessness and help people to recover from the issues that create homelessness, often related to mental ill health. Each night they provide housing and support to 2,500 people. The team have recently planted over a thousand bulbs, including snow drops, daffodils and bluebells to bloom in the spring. Trainee gardeners are moving on to the next phases of their horticultural qualifications.
“It gives me a big bundle of confidence and is helping me to see how capable I am. I really enjoy studying and may even further my education after this course.” – Trainee Gardener
THE ART GARDEN, WHITWORTH ART GALLERY, MANCHESTER
Last year, The Art Garden opened at Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. We collaborated with local charities as part of the Whitworth’s Grow Project. The Grow Project supports local people who are experiencing social isolation or living with mental ill health as they work towards becoming gardeners. Working together in the garden allows each individual to learn new horticultural skills, as well as creating a nurturing sense of community.
THE QUIET GARDEN, LONDON
We’re excited to announce the unveiling of The Quiet Garden in Notting Hill, London. Created by St Mungo’s – one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities – The Quiet Garden is part of its Putting Down Roots project. Offering people a safe place to reconnect. Recover. Grow. To learn new skills. To gain experience as trainee gardeners. Through the cultivation and care of its beautiful grounds. Continuing our mission to shine a light on mental health. Designed by RHS Ambassador Jekka McVicar, its circular paths and curves create a sense of peace throughout. Flowers in restful colours – lavender, jasmine and rose – evoke wellbeing and tranquillity. And, of course, there is basil (our favourite) aplenty…