Part of the garden at Cheltenham’s Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice is being revamped with the help of Chelsea gold medal-winning designer Peter Dowle.
Work begins today on planting a centrepiece flower bed in the courtyard at Leckhampton Court, which will mix trees, shrubs and perennials to provide year-round colour.
Funding for the plants has come from a donation by Cleeve Cloud Golf Club 2015 Charity Tournament and Peter, who owns Howle Hill Nursery near Ruardean, has donated his time and expertise.
“Sue Ryder Homes have always been very close to my heart and it was a fabulous opportunity to share some of the inspiration that plants can bring to such a special place,” he said.
“The Sue Ryder foundation looked after my grandmother with so much dignity and it has been a pleasure to give something back. It has been also very humbling seeing the tremendous work that the team of volunteers bring to the outside space.”
The design has 45 different species, including an olive, Scot’s pine, iris, lavender, ferns and grasses. Providing a link to the hospice’s history, will be pieces of stone from the original 13th century manor house, many of them still showing the marks of the stonemasons who crafted them.
John Millington, Head Gardener at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, said: “We wanted to create something for our patients and visitors to look at and enjoy throughout the year, with colour in every season and the use of grasses creating something to hear too.
“It is fitting that we have been able to incorporate some original stone from the manor house into it which will ensure the new garden has a connection to the hospice building and those who built it.”
Peter has designed a show garden for next month’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival and will be building the L’Occitane Garden, designed by James Basson, at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Leckhampton Court is the only specialist hospice care inpatient unit in Gloucestershire and has to raise £1.6 million every year to fund its work.