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Mind Chelsea Flower Shower Garden 2022

Up at the crack of dawn, I met our allotment member Jane at the station, looking through the plant list for the Mind Garden, designed by multiple Gold winner Andy Sturgeon for the Chelsea Flower Show this year. We were greeted by other fellow volunteers at the gates and had the privilege of enjoying walking through the garden before any of the public arrived. What an experience!

The Mind Garden had a well-deserved gold medal to it’s name and we enjoyed spending the day waxing lyrical about how gardening is such a brilliant antidote to modern life and how reconnecting to nature and others is fundamental to our wellbeing. The garden was designed to create spaces for people to talk about mental health and it really did do that! The tagline for the garden was “The Mind Garden inspires us to connect for our mental health”.  We spent the day connecting with people and the natural world, identifying the plants for people and talking about how the tranquillity of the garden made such a welcoming and warm space for these important conversations.

Some of the plants were only in bud, not quite ready to open. Others were dotted in stages of opening until they showed themselves in full bloom. Ferns unfurled throughout, reflecting the way nature mirrors our tentative steps to opening up about our mental health. The sitting areas enveloped you with soft planting and calming sounds of water trickling. Andy had created a beautiful space, a legacy, which will live on at Barrow in Furness Mind, helping people to open up and connect.

Jane was the go-to expert of the day and all the rest of the volunteers were thankful to have her expertise on hand when we weren’t sure what a plant was called. We were very lucky to have her on the team! We both said how it had been an amazing experience and we were very much in our element talking to fellow green-fingered people!

We were pipped at the post for our full-marks garden, but to us, it certainly was Best in Show!

Posted on: 8th June 2022

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