Children's hospice garden to make show at Chelsea

The new garden will be a place of relaxation and reflection, recreated at Rainbow's Children and Young People's Hospice in the East Midlands after the show. It will provide a tranquil place to help parents and carers deal with the emotional and physical day-to-day pressures of caring for a life-limited child or young person.

Alison Cooke, Director of Care at Rainbow's Hospice for Children and Young People says: "We've always wanted to create a garden at Chelsea Flower Show. It's a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness of the important, often unseen work that goes on at our children's hospice where we provide essential support to children and young people not expected to live to reach adulthood and their families across the East Midlands."

This special garden highlights the wider importance of gardens within children's hospices, offering a space for families to reflect as well as stimulation and fun for life-limited children and young people. Charity Together for Short Lives, the organisation which represents children's hospices and other care providers nationally, see gardens as an essential part of the care given to seriously ill children, young people and their families.

Barbara Gelb, Chief Executive at Together for Short Lives comments: Children's hospices provide care to thousands of children and families each year and gardens form an important part of this support. Reflection gardens provide quiet and tranquil location for adults to reflect and relax or to remember their child if they have passed away."

The garden is being been created by designer, Chris Gutteridge of Second Nature Gardens with planting help given by BBC Radio Leicester's gardening expert Andy Dayman,

Chris says: "The garden itself will be divided up by large sheets of frosted acrylic which allow light and shapes through creating shadows and silhouettes. Raised walkways will form the entrance, with trees acting as a ceiling to provide a feeling of enclosure and calmness. A gently rippling water feature will sit next to planting and seating."

The garden will be situated in the 'Fresh' area of the show. Fresh is a brand new area that includes modern, inventive gardens and products. An interactive element in the garden will be provided by students from Leicester's De Montfort University. A webcam will take pictures of people as they approach the entrance, and, using software that identifies a person's gender and approximate age, appropriate images will be projected onto the acrylic screens.

Visitors to the world famous show will be able to experience the tranquillity of the Rainbows Children's Hospice Garden from 22-26 May.

All costs for the garden project have been covered by three generous sponsors from within the hospice's community. Two anonymous donations and a contribution from PR firm, Arch Communications have enabled Rainbows to enter the Show, bringing children's hospice care to the attention of the nation's press.

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