Thrive is making a happy return to BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham for the third year in a row.
The ‘Garden of Celebration’ has been designed by employees and volunteers from Thrive together with Regency School whose students attend the charity’s Grow and Learn programme in Kings Heath Park, Birmingham.
The students that helped to design the garden have given a lot of consideration to the use of space, with particular emphasis on the therapeutic side of horticulture, using plants to improve physical and mental health and communication and thinking abilities.
The wonderful horticultural therapy journey begins with our roots.
The soft stones, natural muted colours relate calmness and tranquility. The path gently meanders up through the garden with soft natural returns on circular feature spots, allowing one’s eye to rest before moving back through the garden at a relaxed pace.
This circular path shows a relaxed way to navigate the garden depicting how we support the elderly, some of whom may well be living with dementia. The delicate alpines and succulents mirror the diverse range of people we tailor our care to, all of whom are individuals with different requirements and different capabilities.
The path now meanders through into ‘green care’. Lush planting with gentle shapes and soft mossy mounts, grassed discs, herb balls flow into the reflective contemplating, tranquil pond. The edge of the water is broken with feathered edges of ferns and ripples of green tones out into the garden with amazing foliage.
Subtle scents are added to the atmosphere with herbs and lavender portraying our sensory area. The introduction of the Thrive purple colour scheme brings you into the anniversary circle.
The wonderfully planted cake is a celebration of how Thrive has expanded over the years and offers a central point to the garden. The pebble line adds height with supporting structural hoops and wispy planting of verbena and layering of purples.
The tree represents Thrive’s growing success, support of clients and groups and poignantly is adorned with leaf quotes from clients, staff and volunteers about what Thrive means to them.
As you circle the tree you move past vibrant colours can conclude our journey there or re-visit areas of the experience.
Visitors to the stand at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC are invited to write their own quote on a leaf and hang on a bespoke wooden tree.