Job Done - Developing sensory garden at children's hospice

Project: Designing and building a sensory garden
Client: Acorns Children's Hospice
Contractor: Country Lane Landscapes

Television presenter and Greenfingers chairman Richard Jackson opened a sensory garden created by the charity at a children's hospice last week. The garden at Acorns Children's Hospice in Birmingham comprises a family garden with two barbecues, a water feature, a shaded section and a play area with tunnels.

A quiet garden will be used primarily as a place of calm and remembrance. It includes sensory plants, a waterfall and cascading flowers on a trellis overlooking seating. The garden was transformed from a neglected patch of ground by the contractor, which started off by grubbing up the tangle of undergrowth.

The team had to sculpt mounds of earth and use sculptural elements such as garden furniture to define the different areas in the garden. New turf, raised beds, fencing, granite paving and overhead lighting were installed to a design by Clare Matthews, who worked with lead contractor Paul Lane.

Acorns volunteers' manager Dee McCann said: "Children, families, staff, volunteers and visitors enjoy these wonderful spaces." Jackson added: "We've found it to be a very poignant place for the recently bereaved, who can sit and think about their loved ones in beautiful surroundings."

Webbs Garden Centres, Npower, Hozelock and KiddiVouchers helped raise funding of £60,000.

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