Workbridge get ready for BBC Gardeners’ World live

More than 50 people who attend Workbridge – a centre which offers vocational opportunities to people with a variety of mental health needs – have been involved in cultivating hundreds of seedlings that are now ready for planting in ‘The Nostalgia Garden’ at Gardeners' World Live 2017.

The garden, on display at Birmingham NEC between 15-18 June, celebrates the event’s 50th anniversary and is now being built by the Workbridge team including gardeners with learning disabilities, autism and brain injuries.

The Nostalgia Garden has been designed by landscape gardener Paul Stone, and it embraces the look and feel of the ‘60s. The garden invites the public to walk through a village scene typical of the period. The design features a period garage, fuel pumps and even a classic 1960’s Mini Cooper. There is also a village store, a garden nursery shop and a humpback bridge with views down to a bubbling stream and flowering riverside plants.

Workbridge Service Manager, Chloe Dowell, explained: “We’re all really excited to be part of such a fantastic show garden to celebrate 50 years of Gardeners’ World.  We’ve had more than 50 service users involved in the project, from potting the plants and watering them, to creating the clay pots that will be part of the garden as well.  Importantly, we all get a chance to learn new skills under the leadership of experienced professionals.  I just hope the sun is shining for the show!”

Chloe continued: “The philosophy behind Workbridge is to provide people with an opportunity to work as part of a team, and we teach both technical and life skills, enabling our service users to see their potential in the community. Horticulture has significant therapeutic value, so it's no wonder gardening remains such a popular hobby. ' 

Find out more about Paul Stone here.