Johnsons of Whixley help create magical ‘time out’ space

Yorkshire based commercial nursery Johnsons of Whixley has donated plants worth hundreds of pounds for a magical garden to help children cope with grief.

The garden, at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford, will be a tranquil space where children can be themselves, explore their surroundings and escape their reality for a short while.

Johnsons has donated plants worth more than £800 to the hospice, that cares for terminally ill patients and their families while Leeds Landscapers, Aire Valley Landscaping Services gave up their time to design and plant the garden.

Included in Johnsons supply were perennials such as Verbena bonariensis, Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’, Salvia ‘Caradonna’, Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ and Lavandula ‘Hidcote’.

Climbing varieties included Trachelospermum jasminoides, Hydrangea petiolaris and Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ perfect for covering trellises and fences in the new garden. Several Amelanchier alnifolia ‘obelisk’ trees were provided, along with grasses such as Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’.

The garden aims to provide a safe yet stimulating space where children can go with an adult to enjoy some time out and enjoy being a child again.

The magical space includes surprise elements such as fairy doors and toadstools hidden among the greenery, along with sensory sections with running water and scented plants.

A hospice spokesman explained: “Children may be worried about having fun due to an awareness of their wider family’s emotional needs. However, this space is for them. The Magical Garden will enable children to spend ‘time out’ exploring and having fun during very stressful and upsetting times. This will be their space to play, relax, explore, gain a sense of normality and be themselves.

“We also hope that through engaging in creative thinking, this will strengthen their bond with the adult and help them to have difficult conversations about grief and death.”

Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnsons, commented: “We are delighted to support this initiative to help children through what will, in all probability, be the most difficult time of their young lives. The garden will offer them a valuable space to take time out and be a child again, as well as helping them to talk about how they feel.”

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