Goodman House Garden Reopens

goodman_house_openingGarden for people with neuro-disability formally reopened by Dr Tim Upson of the Royal Horticultural Society

Last year the Goodman House garden had to be closed because it was slipping down West Hill. All gardening activity for patients and residents was moved indoors, along with the roses, apple tree and hibiscus, all dug up for safekeeping. Bulldozers were moved in to stabilise the garden.

Due to the generosity of donors, the garden has now been redesigned paying close attention to research into what features are best for people with neuro-disabilities. Garden group leader and horticulturist, Jose Spring, studied these gardens in Scandinavia as a recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship.

The new garden is a social centre for Goodman House residents, and a place where they can garden. There are now robust wooden containers, which are wheelchair friendly, and the garden makes great use of the colour red, because this is the colour that people with Huntington’s disease see most easily.

Goodman House resident, Mrs Sally Lynch, said

“The garden means life and death to me. I need to be there otherwise I feel ill. It’s really good for me. Gardening is in my blood; I have green fingers, everything I plant grows big.”

Goodman House garden is being formally reopened on Friday 27 November by Dr Tim Upson, Royal Horticultural Society Director of Horticulture, with Geoff Hyde of London in Bloom and Julia Weston of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Tim Upson said,

“We’ve long known that there are tremendous health benefits associated with gardening and being in green spaces, and the impact the Goodman House garden has had on patients more than bears that out.

“The importance of having the garden back and available to be used and enjoyed by patients, staff and visitors cannot be overestimated. It’s a real inspiration showcasing how gardens and plants can really add to the quality of life for all.

“I’m delighted to have been asked to open the new garden and herald what is sure to be a wonderful new chapter in the life of Goodman House.”