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Designing the Blind Veterans UK garden

We’ve been working with Blind Veterans UK for 4 years, ever since we were asked to help them with a new Woodland Centenary Garden at their newest centre in Llandudno. This garden went on to win 2 Britain in Bloom Awards and special mention as an ‘outstanding neighbourhood garden’. We have also helped the charity in a joint collaboration with Blesma, the veterans limbless charity.

One thing we’ve always picked up is the amazing community of veteran members, their families, volunteers and staff that we felt part of and we wanted to celebrate this in a garden that looks forward showing some of the activities that members take part in. This community garden demonstrates how Blind Veterans UK can bring people together; how we can train and rehabilitate; highlighting the skills building that is important for the future; all with youthful energy and fun.

From the garden entrance you will be able to walk through a willow artwork by Tom Hare. This willow sculpture embraces the whole garden threading through the space like a vine, reflecting how everyone and everything works together as one community. The Great Vine at Hampton Court Palace, the oldest vine in Britain, was once maintained by blind veterans after WW1.

The ‘village square’ is where beneficiaries, volunteers and staff can meet and take part in activities. There are places for crafts, for just hanging out under the trees, working in the workshop, or gardening in the productive garden. An orchard will provide fruit and a pictorial meadow planting provides ideal space for guide dogs. In other spaces ornamental plants enclose and embrace the space with trees and particulary a high summer interest.