Mark Lane to design Leonard Cheshire sensory garden

Award-winning garden designer, BBC TV presenter and writer, and National Garden Scheme garden owner, Mark Lane, is set to design a sensory garden for a care home run by our gardens and health beneficiary, Leonard Cheshire.

In 2018, National Garden Scheme donated £120,000 to disability charity Leonard Cheshire to fund the development of sensory gardens and horticultural volunteering projects for disabled people across the UK. With the support of Mark and the National Garden Scheme, the charity plans to use part of the donation to transform the grounds of care home, Agate House in Ampthill, Bedforshire, and make it fully inclusive for all.

Mark Lane with an Agate House resident

Leonard Cheshire is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people, which include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Agate House is home to 36 adults with physical disabilities and the sensory garden will give residents the opportunity to experience the enormous benefits gardens can bring to people’s health, happiness and wellbeing. Commenting on the project, Mark said:

“Gardens that are fully accessible or inclusive help bring communities together, help tackle isolation, but above all are great fun and incredible for both mental and physical wellbeing. Gardening can be a sociable activity or a quiet personal activity; either way, everyone can garden no matter their ability.”

Jane, a resident of Agate House, said: “I love to see the flowers in the garden and can’t wait for all of us to be able to use the new space that Mark has designed.”

Agate House outdoor space, ready to be transformed into a sensory garden

Mark Lane is the UK’s first wheelchair-bound garden designer and has been opening his garden, The Orchard in Canterbury, for the National Garden Scheme since 2017. His one acre space boasts features including a herb garden, roses and peonies, an orchard and grass borders with a stepped granite water feature. The garden is Mark’s playground for plant combinations, and is very much dictated by the flora and fauna of the area. Mark builds on integrated structures and the spaces between, in and around them, to create an ever-changing naturalistic sense of place and space. Mark’s garden is open by arrangement until the 31st August 2018 and you can contact him to book a visit via his garden listing.




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