I was really pleased to be asked by the NHS Trust in Cardiff to make some pieces for a garden representing them at RHS Cardiff Flower Show.
The garden was to be an entry in the "Blossoming Beds" category and would be a miniature version of the proposed landscaping of the grounds at Llandough Hospital in Cardiff, "Ein Berllan/Our Orchard".
Llandough Hospital has been doing great things promoting the healing benefits of art.
They have their own gallery on site which exhibits the work of visiting artists as well as the work of patients who have used art as a form of healing and self expression whilst there.
This hugely successful project has been extended to the grounds of the hospital as well, where garden designer Eileen Wood has put the emphasis firmly on the sustainable.
With natural planting and a orchard at its core "Ein Berllan/Our Orchard" features spaces intended for group use and also for solitude. The area is circled by accessible paths of differing lengths so that it can be used by all.
The Cardiff & Vale Health Charity says of the project:
Our Orchard will be created on 7 acres of semi-rural pasture land and woodland which makes up part of the UHL estate. This will benefit patients, staff, visitors and the wider community and will be funded entirely through donations made to the Cardiff and Vale Health Charity. No NHS funding will contribute to the development and maintenance of this unique outdoor
UHL is fast becoming a long term recovery and rehabilitation hospital. For many of our patients, their conditions and treatments are long term, keeping them away from their friends, family and familiar environments. This can be for many months while they regain their health or learn to live with managing their present health in a different way. Being away from family and friends and
living within a clinical environment can have an impact on the patients wellbeing and in turn slow recovery, leading to a longer hospital stay.
Ein Berllan - Our Orchard will enhance the benefits of health and wellbeing while supporting our patients on their journey of recovery and rehabilitation. It will allow patients to be taken out of the traditional clinical environment and enjoy fresh air and natural light which can assist with recovery.
The health benefits of environmental factors and the impact of nature and wildlife upon physical and mental wellbeing has long been recognised and Ein Berllan - Our Orchard will enhance this vision.
The scaled-down version made for the flower show featured a gateway made from reclaimed timber, log-pile habitats for insects, and pollinator-friendly planting.
In tune with this vision I created two sculptures which were of insects that can be found at the site in Llandough, a Labyrinth Spider (Agelena labyrinthica) and a Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae).
I am really pleased to say that the garden won first place in its category ("Blossoming Beds"). It also won a Silver-Gilt Medal too, the highest award of the show.