Pershore College’s Avonbank Nurseries are providing horticultural charity Thrive with a range of plants for it ‘life changing’ floral border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live event at the NEC this week (16-19 June).
Thrive is a national charity with a local heart and uses gardening to help people with disabilities, ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone’s ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.
Thrive also supports people training to be social and horticultural therapists with its training and education programme and the Professional Development Diploma run in conjunction with Coventry University and students often attend Pershore College as part of this.
Thrive has been working with Josh Egan-Wyer, Nursery Manager, to source the plants to depict an old English cottage garden which will include rambling and climbing roses, lillies, clematis, salvia and healing plants such as rosemary and lavender.
Josh said, “We were delighted to be involved in this project as Pershore College already shares close links with Thrive – we welcome students from their diploma course and former Pershore student and TV Gardener David Domoney is an ambassador for Thrive too.
“The floral border is going to be a stunning addition to the show and I’m sure the visitors will enjoy it as well as learning about Thrive’s important work.”
The floral border known as ‘The Life Changing Garden’ has been developed by Thrive horticultural therapists Amanda Fields and Deborah Stubbs who are based at the charity in Kings Heath Park.
The garden is inspired by the world famous novel ‘The Secret Garden’ where a young girl finds solace in a locked and neglected walled garden at Misselthwaite Manor. Over time, the garden ‘heals’ her after being orphaned and she brings it back to life,making new friends and learning gardening skills along the way.
Amanda 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.’
Find out more about Thrive at www.thrive.org.uk
Pershore College offers a range of horticultural courses – for more information go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/courses or call 0300 456 0049.