Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We are in!!

Okay, so our 'space' has not been confirmed, but we are into the Hampton Court Show week commencing 5th July. At last. And yes, we are still finalising bits and pieces. The ever indefatigable Mike Sugg and Lee are beavering away trying to source various trees and we are still fundraising. However, we have reached our target for getting the garden to the show. What we now need to do is to get the garden to Combat Stress' headquarters at Tyrwhitt House and have it installed there for which we need additional funds. So it is onwards and upwards.

And it is so good to have such great news, because on many other fronts there seems to be gloom and disaster. Avoiding anything to do with the impending election..... the weather is dreadful. The amount of grey cloud presiding over the south of the UK at the moment is monumentally depressing. I do not suffer from SADs, but am definitely starting to feel like taking a sunshine pill. Plants are slowly emerging from hibernation, but are very reluctant to show themselves. Daffodils are finally unfurling after the spectacular display that the snowdrops made. Roses are starting to put new growth on, and the fruit trees are threatening to break out into blossom. But the threat of snow and frost has not passed, yet!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A step closer

Events are moving apace. The garden for our autistic client is now a reality, with plans to put the fence and level off the ground starting on 12 April - so fingers crossed for good weather, good machinery, lots of muscle and general good humour as it is going to be two days of very hard work.

And secondly, the Combat Stress garden is inching closer to happening! I love working with people who 'can do'. It makes such a difference that half glass full rather than the half glass empty way of looking at life. I had a meeting with Mike Sugg, Leigh (sorry Leigh I never did get your surname) and Peter Wenham of Adbruf to look at the logistics of creating this garden. And it is suddenly so close to happening that you can 'feel it'. We have a couple of dedicated growers nurturing our plants to greater and better things; the trees we are still sourcing as they have to be spectacular - but not so big that we cannot get them in! And we are now looking at the hows and wherefores. So fingers crossed and we will keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the amended plans for the Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden have met with the approval of the RHS. Not only that, but one of our suppliers, Cirencester Civil Engineering have been absolutely wonderful and are donating the hard landscaping elements of the garden. So the garden is a huge leap nearer becoming a reality; thank you so much Mike. It makes a huge difference when you work with people who understand the vision and reality of what we are trying to do. The garden courtyard at Tyrwhitt House the headquarters of Combat Stress is an arid building site. Scarcely conducive to getting the best out of rehabilitation or even being able to relax. Now all we need is to get the plants sorted out. So a huge thank you to Mike and to all our other suppliers who are being so brilliant such as Geotextile (who supply pond liners amongst other things); Mobilane who are supplying the ivy screens; and Gaze Burvill who are lending us some of the furniture. A huge huge thank you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gardens ARE important!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at a conference being held by the UK's leading Rehabilitation Cost Consultants Jacqueline Webb & Co. Put simply this company provides extensive costings and advice to personal injury lawyers, insurers and claimants/pursuers, in Britain, Ireland and overseas, to provide an expert analysis of the past, present and future needs of the injured person. My task was to explain the important part that gardens have to play in the rehabilitation package ie The View from the Window. In reasearching this subject I have come across evidence both factual and empirical proving that the environment that we look out on and function in is vital to our well being and to our recovery from injury and illness. In addition designing the house for those with an injury - be it neural or physical should take place alongside the design for the garden. The saving of money, when this is done is enormous. The benefits to client huge - both in looking out of the window onto a changing scene of flowers, light, seasons, and in the use the garden is put to. After all what is the point in having a house, apartment that has a garden that is inaccessible to a wheelchair user, and the adaption cost is prohibitive and has not even been allowed for? It is frightening how often this happens.