Thrive is returning to BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in Birmingham for the third year running.
The ‘Garden of Celebration’ has been designed by staff and volunteers from Thrive in association with Regency School whose students attend the charity’s Grow and Learn programme in Kings Heath Park, Birmingham.
In designing this garden, the students have given a huge amount of thought to the use of space, with particular regard to the therapeutic aspects of horticulture, using plants to improve physical and mental health and communication and thinking skills.
The wonderful horticultural therapy journey begins with the roots.
The soft stones, natural muted colours depict calmness and tranquillity. The path-line softly meanders up through the garden with gentle natural returns on circular feature spots, allowing the eye to rest before moving back through the garden at a slow rhythm.
This circular path offers an easy way to navigate the garden representing how Thrive support their elderly clients, some of whom may be living with dementia. The delicate alpines and succulents represent the diverse range of clients the charity tailor their care to, all of whom are individuals with different needs and different abilities.
The path then winds through into ‘green care’. Lush planting with soft shapes and gentle mossy mounts, grassed discs, herb balls flow into the reflective contemplating, tranquil pond. The edge of the water is broken with feathered edges of ferns and ripples of green hues out into the garden with fascinating foliage.
Gentle scents are added to the air with herbs and lavender representing Thrive’s sensory area. The introduction of the Thrive purple palette brings visitors into the anniversary circle.
The beautiful planted cake is a celebration of how Thrive has grown over the years and offers a focal point to the garden. The pebble line builds up height with supportive structural hoops and wispy planting of verbena and layering of purples.
The tree signifies Thrive’s growing success, support of clients and groups and poignantly is adorned with leaf quotes from clients, staff and volunteers about what Thrive means to them.
Circling the tree, people move past vibrant colours and conclude the journey there or re-visit areas of the experience.
People visiting the stand are invited to write their own quote on a leaf and hang on a specially made wooden tree.