A new Greenfingers Charity therapeutic garden at Grace House, Sunderland was officially opened by the Mayor of Sunderland on Monday 21st October. This new garden will provide a place for relaxation and enjoyment for the seriously ill children and their families that call Grace House home.
The Nest and Rest Garden – Greenfingers’ 58th garden project to be completed – was designed and created by Sean Murray, who most famously won the BBC’s Great Chelsea Garden Challenge in 2015. Working alongside him was landscaper Keith Ball. Together the pair transformed a previously blank space into a garden that provides a range of sensory experiences, complemented by sweeping paths that provide a journey through the landscape.
The Grace House design focuses on bringing more wildlife into the garden, with pollinator friendly plants taking centre stage, providing a splash of colour and gorgeous fragrances throughout the space. A special ‘nest’ has been created by grouping tree trunks together, which provides a secluded spot to sit and relax, or as a hub for play and group activities.Elsewhere, an interactive water feature and additional sheltered areas provide a choice of places to stop for a moment, whilst the fun brightly coloured fences add a touch of playfulness to the space. Together all these elements create an outside space for respite and relaxation, as well as stimulating features that can be used for therapies and reflection.
At the garden opening, Murray said: “It has been a great honour and privilege to have designed a Greenfingers Charity garden. Having previously worked in the NHS and seeing the powerful difference a well-designed outside space can make; whether it’s overcoming access issues or having a private space to escape the reality of what’s going on inside the building; I hope that this new garden provides a special place for all those who spend time at Grace House to enjoy.”
Victoria Brown, CEO at Grace House, said: “We would like to thank Greenfingers Charity, Sean and their supporters for the effort, patience and kindness they have shown Grace House. This stunning garden is now a wonderful space in which the young people, children and families who spend time a Grace will be able to enjoy for many years to come.”