THE PRIMROSE Hospice has started the new year with a new challenge after announcing it will be entering a show into this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May.
The garden – designed by award winning designer Martyn Wilson – is called ‘Time is a Healer’ and represents the bereavement journey that many children find themselves on when losing a parent or other family member.
It will be created on that theme because the bereavement journey can be a confusing and challenging time and areas in the garden represent the various feelings and moods commonly experienced.
The project, which was officially launched this week, has been made possible by the generous support of a number of sponsors.
Kendrick Homes is sponsoring most of the build costs for the garden thanks to the support of managing director James Rennison.
Other sponsors include Hillview Garden Centres, represented by their CEO Boyd Douglas-Davies, and The Bransford Webbs Plant Company, represented by director Geoff Caesar.
The landscaping will be undertaken by award winning Shaun Bennett Gardening & Landscaping and the benches in the garden have been designed by Nik Burns, a local Shropshire sculptor.
The main central ‘clock face’ has been generously loaned by Ella Mae Sibley Sparling, a graduate of Hereford College of Arts .
Hedging and topiary will be generously provided by ReadyHedge a specialist grower from near Pershore.
The garden designer Martyn Wilson is a graduate in spatial planning and environmental management who studied Professional Garden Design at the Cotswold Gardening School.
He developed his passion and knowledge of garden design working in the Cotswolds, Vale of Evesham and the beautiful grounds of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. Martyn has previously designed two RHS award winning show gardens, including one featured on Gardeners’ World last year by Monty Don.
Martyn said he was really excited to have been asked to design the show garden.
“The hospice offers so much wonderful care and support for those at the end of their life and those who remain.
“The space explores the journey that the bereaved travel and the mixture of emotions experienced in this traumatic period and is designed to help counsellors explore this with children.
“The emotions experienced at times of bereavement are not the same for everyone or the time taken to heal.
“In ‘Time is a Healer’ this is symbolised by the central sculpture akin to a clock face and by the four exits which enable the bereaved to enter and exit the garden at the ‘time’ that is right for them.”
He added as visitors moved around the garden, they would explore emotions of bereavement from periods of depression, shock and anger to, hopefully, one of calm and acceptance.
“The bespoke central sculpture and benches crafted by local artists offer opportunities for quiet thought or contemplation.
“We look forward to start building the garden in April and to supporting Primrose Hospice in raising awareness of the great work it does in the community – see you there.”
Helen Briscoe, the Primrose Hospice’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be working with so many talented and generous people and look forward to taking part in the Malvern Festival in May.
“The garden gives us a perfect opportunity to promote the services we offer.
“Many people do not realise a hospice does much more than care for people at the end of their life.
“Last year we supported over 900 people through our services many of whom were children losing a parent or close relative.
“Children are not always able to understand or express their emotions and working with a specialist children’s worker helps them to communicate their feelings through specific activities and play.”
She added the hospice’s children’s worker had been funded by Macmillan for the last three years as the charity did not receive NHS funding for the necessary role.
But, she added, that cash runs out this year so the hospice was keen to gain financial support for this crucial position.
“By showcasing the bereavement pathway through a visual interpretation in a garden we hope to raise both awareness and funds”
The RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which attracts hundreds of exhibitors selling everything from plants to food and a giant floral marquee, is on from May 5 to 8 at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern.
Celebrities taking part include Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein, Valentine Warner and Mary Berry.
Visit http://www.threecounties.co.uk/rhsmalvern/ for more on the show and, for more on the Primrose or to make a donation, go to www.primrosehospice.org or call 01527 871051.