TV gardeners add colour to hospice

CELEBRITY gardener Alan Titchmarsh and his television team have transformed a piece of land at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice into a tranquil garden.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th August 2012, 3:39 pm

The popular television gardener visited the North Anston charity to film the final episode of Love Your Garden, which was aired last week.

The team were helped by scores of volunteers to help create The Dragonfly Garden, where families can come for quiet contemplation and celebrate the lives of their children.

Bluebell Wood said it was missing a place where families could come together to remember those they have lost, so Alan and his team set to work to create a garden of tranquillity in its surrounding grounds.

He drew his inspiration from the natural beauty of Lathkill Dale in the Peak District and this inspired him and his team to carve out a small dell lined with rocks and pebbles to emulate the riverbed of Lathkill.

The team battled against time and the torrential rain to finish the garden in time. The garden is based around a meandering dry riverbed which looks as though it has been carved into the landscape by the elements.

There is also a water feature which creates a focal point and the gentle running water adds to the sense of peace and tranquillity.

Families of bereaved children have been given a pebble with their child’s name on to place in the garden where they wish.

An array of flowers have been planted along with dogwood and silver birch trees which will eventually provide shade.

Alan said: “It’s been a deeply moving experience meeting the families from Bluebell Wood and I really enjoyed the time spent with them.”

“I hope families and children will continue to make use of the wonderful garden for many years to come.”

One of the parents featured on the programme Steve Knight, whose daughter Emma was the first child to use Bluebell Wood’s end of life facilities, said: “It’s a place where you can go that is nice, peaceful and tranquil and you can meet other families who have been through similar experiences. If you’re having a bad day you can just go and sit at the side of the riverbed and look at your child’s stone and think of the happy times we all shared together.”

Sarah Champion, chief executive of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice said: “We have been overwhelmed by the work that Alan and the Love Your Garden team have carried out, it’s simply fantastic.”

“The Dragonfly Garden that they’ve created is a beautiful place of quiet reflection that families can visit on their own or with other families and spend some quiet time together remembering their loved ones.”

“We are extremely grateful to everyone involved for all their hard work and support.

“It costs £3 million every year to provide the services to care for local children with a shortened life expectancy and their families, and we receive no statutory government funding.

“It is only with help and support such as this that we can continue to serve as many children as we do.”