Rachel de Thame launches Gardens and Health week for the National Garden Scheme

Rachel de Thame

On Friday 8th May the National Garden Scheme will launch Gardens and Health Week championing and demonstrating the benefits of gardens to everyone’s health and wellbeing. During the current crisis these benefits have rarely been more relevant or important. 

The campaign is being led by gardening broadcaster and National Garden Scheme Ambassador, Rachel de Thame, with a film about how her garden was crucial during 2018 and 2019 when she was diagnosed with and underwent treatment for breast cancer.  

Rachel says:  “My garden became a lifeline, it was a place of escape… but above all it offered me a sense of promise for the future, that glimmer of optimism kept me going through treatment. 

On Friday 8th May a series of Virtual Garden Visits relating specifically to Gardens and Health will be available on the National Garden Scheme website here

Some have been filmed in hospital or other health-related settings; these include the garden of a Marie Curie hospice, a Horatio’s Garden for a spinal injuries unit and a Maggie’s centre for cancer sufferers – all garden spaces supported by National Garden Scheme funding. There are also films by National Garden Scheme garden owners demonstrating the benefits of gardens to their health, such as Amanda Goode whose garden helped her overcome the loss of her daughter and granddaughter, Alan Clements whose garden helped him recover from life-threatening spinal injuries, Alison Jordan and Chris Lane whose gardens help them cope with Parkinsons, and two generations of GPs whose garden brings them solace in these testing times. 

While people are unable to visit gardens in person the National Garden Scheme is releasing new Virtual Garden Visits every Thursday so that people can enjoy the restorative and therapeutic effects of viewing these beautiful gardens and, it is hoped, make a donation to the nursing and health charities that the charity has been supporting since 1927.

More about Rachel de Thame

At the beginning of 2020 Rachel de Thame joined the National Garden Scheme as an Ambassador. One of the best-known and most admired figures in gardening broadcasting and journalism, her career has included presenting on BBC Gardener’s World TV and extensive work as a journalist including a regular column in the Sunday Times.

At the time of her appointment, National Garden Scheme CEO George Plumptre said, “We are all thrilled that Rachel has agreed to join us as an Ambassador. Her passion for plants and enthusiasm for the promotion of gardens for health and wellbeing, fit seamlessly with our work at the National Garden Scheme. Having Rachel on board will, raise the profile of our gardens, encourage more people to discover the pleasures of visiting gardens and help us champion the health benefits of gardens.”

For more information please contact Vicky Flynn, Communications Manager [email protected]  / 07980 135909 or George Plumptre, CEO, [email protected]



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