'Life-changing' floral border at BBC Gardeners' World Live

Thrive is hoping its floral border at the BBC Gardeners' World Live event this week (June 16-19) will inspire and delight visitors to the Birmingham show.

Thrive's Life Changing floral border. Image: Supplied
Thrive's Life Changing floral border. Image: Supplied

Thrive is a national charity that uses gardening to help people with disabilities, ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. It works from the former TV gardens in Kings Heath Park.

The floral border known as 'The Life Changing Garden' has been developed by horticultural therapists Amanda Fields and Deborah Stubbs who are based at the charity in Kings Heath Park.

The garden is inspired by the novel 'The Secret Garden' where a young girl finds solace in a locked and neglected walled garden at Misselthwaite Manor where she is sent to live after the death of her parents.

Over time, the garden 'heals' her after being orphaned and she brings it back to life. The fresh air and exercise restore her health, and her excitement at the beauty of the garden brings her and those whose lives she touches back to life. She befriends the staff at the manor and a young sickly boy who has been living in a hidden bedroom in the house.

She brings him out into the garden – the first time he has been outside in many years – and over time, enjoying gentle exercise and nature, restores the boy to health.

Fields said: "Taking inspiration from this wonderful story we can show how powerful the garden environment is. The story deals with bereavement, disability, loneliness, isolation, anxiety and poor physical health which are some of the reasons why people come to Thrive.

"We have seen first-hand how gardening can help everyone, regardless of age or disability and use gardening as a form of therapy allowing people living with disabilities or ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable to make positive changes to their lives, feeling happier, healthier, and more confident."

Thrive has been working with Avonbank Nurseries, part of Pershore College, to source the plants to depict an old English cottage garden which will include rambling and climbing roses, lilies, clematis, salvia and healing plants such as rosemary and lavender.

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