Sandham's garden of reflection
As part of the Sandham 2014 Project it was felt that the original gardens tended by the occupants of the former alms-houses which would have had flower borders and vegetable plots should now form a part of the visit to Sandham and reflect the anniversary years.
Part of money received from the Heritage Lottery Fund was for the creation and use of this space and after consultation with various stakeholders, Daniel Lobb Hampshire landscape and garden designer was appointed to work with various voluntary groups to create a garden of reflection.
Following ground works being completed over 60 volunteers including our own here at Sandham, servicemen and women from Tedworth House (a recovery centre run by Help for Heroes), horticultural students from Sparsholt College, people from homeless charity St Mungo’s and members of horticultural therapy charity Thrive spent some eight months the equivalent of over 320 days’ work to complete this new and very special place.
" ‘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’"
Now nearing its second year, the garden is beginning to look established. The newly planted native hedging provides a natural frame around the garden as the old ones do around the perimeter of the front and are starting to take hold and delineate the area. The varied flower borders provide colour from March to November and include Acanthus, Agapanthus Ajuga Alchemilla Anemone Artemisia Aster Campanula Crocosmia Dahli Fuchsia Geranium Geum H elenium Heuchera Hosta Penstemom Rrhododendron Rudbeckia Salvia Sedum Verbascum and Veronica.
We have polytunnel where we are starting to grow plants of our own, from cuttings or seeds and which will be used to re stock the garden and made available to buy too.
The gardens are maintained by a regular group of volunteers normally on our closed days so we do not disturb the peace and tranquillity of this unique place for visitors. Thrive are still very much involved with the garden and visit on Thursdays to help too – so do say hello to them if you see them in their purple tops toiling away.