Gardening for good

Ching Shun, Chris, James, Jo, Marina, and Paul, some of our RHS Practical Horticulture Level 2 students here at Winterbourne, are taking part in the ‘Beautiful Borders’ competition at Gardeners’ World Live this year. The competition will see them put into practice some of the skills they have learnt over the course, and they are using it as an opportunity to support a very worthy cause: to raise awareness of mental health issues and support the recovery of people in the Birmingham area.

“We’ve worked really hard to create a woodland escape-themed border, called ‘Wander and Wonder’”, says Ching Shun. “We wanted the border to be designed in a way which can both raise awareness of mental health issues, and benefit those who struggle with them. We’d love you to come and see it at the show if you are there!”

“It has been really fun working on the design for the border, and we are really pleased with the results on paper,” says Chris. “But we know the hard work starts now with fundraising, and making sure we can source the right plants, and build the garden to the best of our abilities! We have all enjoyed the RHS Level 2 course at Winterbourne so much so far, and the opportunity to enter this competition is going to be a great way to put into practice everything we have learnt”. 

“Gardens and gardening can massively benefit people’s mental health and wellbeing,” says Marina. “Therefore, at the end of the event (after hopefully winning ‘Best in Show’!), the ‘Wander and Wonder’ border will be given a permanent home at Rookery Gardens, to help the garden’s service users engage in gardening and aid their recovery. We hope it will be a sanctuary for people to escape to, and a space which brings people together. This is something we are really excited about and, having spoken to Rookery Garden, we know it will make a huge difference.”

Rookery Gardens equips people struggling with mental health issues to live independently and fulfil their potential. Run by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Birmingham Mind, Rookery Gardens houses up to 25 people at the heart of a community. Supported by expert psychologists and occupational therapists, service users are given the skills, knowledge, and resources to flourish. It is a place of hope, recovery, and community, and it changes lives.

You can support Ching Shun, Chris, James, Jo, Marina, and Paul, and this great cause by donating on their fundraising page.