New garden of reflection

Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire reflection garden

Formerly used by the alms houses for vegetable cultivation and flowers, but long since somewhat abandoned we created a very special reflective space with year round colour and interest.

Garden of Reflection

The garden behind the chapel had never been open to visitors, but was used by the occupants of the alms houses with vegetable plots and flower borders.  In keeping with wanting to appropriately mark the anniversary years and provide for our fututre and in consultaion with many stakeholders we decided to build on the garden's original use, reflect the powerful nature of the chapel and provide a place not for remembrance but reflection.

The back garden before work started
Sandham back garden before work
The back garden before work started
A muddy scene in preparation for our new garden
Sandham back garden at work start
A muddy scene in preparation for our new garden

 Daniel Lobb, a local garden designer and who had worked on many community based projects was appointed and working with the feedback we had from stakeholders including Tedworth House, a recovery centre run by Help for Heroes for those injured in recent conflicts and others produced the intial drawings for the space. 

" ‘It was really important to me to quietly absorb the special atmosphere of the place and create a design that sits harmoniously next to the historic chapel, existing meadow and orchard’ said Daniel, whose simple design for the garden was inspired by the formality of the chapel building. I hope it will provide both the opportunity for quiet reflection and an active gardening space for the various partner charity groups and volunteer gardeners which have helped bring my design to life’"
- Daniel Lobb

The ultimately agreed design, which mirrors the back of the chapel building includes vegetable plots, flower borders, seating for quiet reflection and a poly-tunnel for propagation and growing less hardy plants. It is surrounded by native hedging in keeping with that already around the rest of the garden. 

The groundworks were completed in early 2014 after which over 60 volunteers including our own here,  servicemen and women from Tedworth House, horticultural students from Sparsholt College, clients from  St Mungo’s, a homeless charity and members of horticultural therapy charity Thrive  spent some eight months, the equivalent of over 320 days’ work completing this new and very special place.

Our new garden just completed.
Sandham back garden nearly completed
Our new garden just completed.

Today Thrive still come and tend the garden once a week and with our own volunteers keep it looking lovely.