The accessible Grow Your Own garden was created at the hospice where seriously ill children and families cared for by Little Havens can enjoy growing and harvesting their own food.
The project was designed and built by Chelmsford-based Eden Horticultural, with Matthew Eden working alongside Greenfingers’ garden projects manager Emma Hanford.
They transformed a previously vacant outside area of the gardens into an abundant fruit and vegetable garden. Children will enter the garden through a pergola and can enjoy the many accessible features the garden has to offer - including specially designed raised beds, a watering can water feature that the children can use to water the garden, a central stone circle meeting space, a big top entertaining and activity area, lush and sensory herb borders and seating areas in sun and shade.
This is the 44th garden created by Greenfingers, a charity devoted to creating gardens in children’s hospices.
Chairman Matthew Wilson opened the garden alongside Haven Hospices chief executive Andy Smith and some of its future users.
Wilson said: "It is such an inspiring space, and one that I have no doubt will bring a great deal of pleasure to those who spend time here. To have this area where children can enjoy growing and harvesting crops, as well as simply relaxing and having fun is a fantastic addition to the wonderful services already on offer at Little Havens. I know the children and families here will benefit from this garden in many ways, and for many years to come."
Kat Clark from Little Havens, who manages the hospice’s Garden Club said that the garden made a wonderful edition to the hospice.
"This garden is another great space that families staying here can escape to and enjoy all year round.
"We would like to thank all of those at Greenfingers and Eden Horticultural as well as our Garden Club volunteers and all of the local businesses who donated resources and equipment. It was a lot of hard work over the heat of the summer but together they’ve been making every day count for seriously ill children across the county."
A significant amount of the money needed for the garden came from money raised via Garden Re-Leaf Day 2014. The garden also received major support from Garden Centres Association, LOFA and a number of businesses and suppliers who gave time, resources and products free of charge or at reduced prices.