Nicola volunteers at a social enterprise where people with learning difficulties come together to learn to grow and arrange cut flowers and produce natural confetti. At times, the fun can just become a little too much, and so Nicola wanted to create a border that offered a relaxing place to sit away from the hubbub with elements demonstrating our ethos. She includes a peaceful area to sit with low growing, scented and tactile planting and a calming colour palette, moving into a more stimulating area of flowers for cutting, incorporating our own handmade constructions providing habitat for our bees and pollinators.
The garden has been designed as a place for ‘time out’ and quiet, whilst also reflecting the ethos of our social enterprise at Flower Pod, where adults with a variety of learning difficulties work in a cutting garden and learn horticultural and associated skills. The key words that Nicola associates with the dynamics of Flower Pod are: relaxing, calm, friendly, fun, sustainable, environmentally responsible, recycled, craft, flowers, scents, cutting garden, wildlife friendly, healthy, safe, unity, humility, patience, grow. Therefore, has chosen plants that reflect these key words to bring together a garden that demonstrates all that we try to achieve in one small space. Planting: Box Balls –creating a sense of permanence and cohesion Handmade willow structure –surrounding calm area in which to siton tree stump seats, underplanted with low growing and scented plants. The left of the garden represents calm and peace with movement and softness provided by Stipa Tennuissma interplanted with purple lavender and Verbena Boriansis. Alliums provide spot plants to provide contrast in terms of form and height whilst maintaining continuity of the colour palette. Agapanthus creates a statement and height whilst reflecting the Verbena in shape but at the same time contrasting in terms of the thickness and size of the foliage and flowers. Some will be in pots to create height Soft contrast will be created around the edges with the soft pinks of francoa sonchifolia and paleyellow of anthemis ‘sauce. hollandaise’. Alchemilla Mollis is also used around the edges, to create softness, whilst being a most valuable cutting flower. As the eye is drawn across the garden to the right hand side, a sense of fun starts to creep in with statement shrub roses providing a splash of colour amongst the softness. These have been chosen for their shrub habit and longevity of flowering. The use of lavender, stipa and verbena continues whilst also bringing in a number of cutting flowers (e.g. cornflowers, ammi, clary sage) to provide a lively atmosphere. There will be a bug hotel made from recycled and natural materials and wood/stick pile to encourage wildlife and pollinators. The sign is welcoming and fun and the inspiration comes from our Annual Hatters’ Tea Party which is a thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard to ensure the Flower Pod continues for the benefit of its clients and the local community it serves.