Posts

Chelsea Flower Show collaboration 2017

Posted: 18th May 2017

I am collaborating for the first time with a team showing a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Come to your Senses Eco-Therapy Garden combats the detrimental technical overload children often experience today and reconnects them in a garden that plays on the five senses, to restore good mental health. The garden is sponsored by Read more…

Seeds of hope

Posted: 20th Mar 2017

Spring is potent for many. Shake open a little packet, seeds tumbling out, signals a powerful metaphor in gardening: an act of hope. Within each neat package lies a new life and a season or more of careful nurturing. With this comes joy and pride from ‘success’, or conversely, wistful learning from ‘failure’. This seems Read more…

Birdsong radio

Posted: 16th Feb 2017

The February days are still dark, weather dank and plants dormant. Winter’s grip is unshakeable; my bones need heat after venturing out. If, like me, you start to hanker for a perceptible Spring, and seek hope from seed catalogues, the peeking daffodil tips, an energetic blackbird, then birdsong radio might be for you. Several channels Read more…

Winter thought-soup

Posted: 10th Jan 2017

The ground has just thawed but Michael Fish says a cold front is coming, bringing talcum-powder snow. Yesterday, the robin looped around the practice cat, the cat around the fox cub in the practice garden. Soon the shorn green roof will be covered in a snow duvet, and man and beast will seek warmth. It Read more…

Beyond Bedlam, rethinking care for the mad

Posted: 5th Oct 2016

James Tilly Matthews, architectural plans and explanatory notes for Bethlem Royal Hospital, 1810-11   In a radical exhibition, an arching history of the treatment of the mad at Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as Bedlam, forces us to review how future treatment should be.  Within this the Madlove project, led by people with mental illness, Read more…

Wellcome the blast of exploration

Posted: 22nd Aug 2016

As the ‘‘Taking a turn’: mental health history of hospital gardens’ project is coming to a close, we collaborators take stock.  From the Chelsea Fringe festival to 2000 school children from 22 schools, the project has given life to discussion, reflection and creative output across nearly 20 months of activity. Personal highlights have included the Read more…

Painters of gardening therapy

Posted: 13th Apr 2016

  On closer reading, some of the painters at the Royal Academy’s current exhibition ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’ reveal a love of gardening for therapeutic purposes:   Claude Monet is quoted with ‘Gardening was something I learned in my youth when I was unhappy.  I perhaps owe it to flowers that I Read more…

Winter rest

Posted: 10th Dec 2015

  The Winter season is now with us, so we must rest. The gardening tasks have dwindled to a saunter into the bare bones of a slumbering space. Enjoy the exposed garden structure, it reveals a lot about the garden beyond the froth of Summer. Walk. Breathe in crisp air. It is timely to reflect Read more…

The strange new thing: defining gardening therapy

Posted: 9th Oct 2015

  “At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago”. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett Read more…

Busyness and the garden

Posted: 22nd Sep 2015

  ‘Its time to garden when there’s not enough time for anything.’ The contemporary ill of busyness leaves little space for what is essential. It becomes increasingly challenging to sustain values such as curiosity and creativity, and by consequence, a fulfilling life. When there’s no time to garden, and the thought creates a sense of Read more…