Bodnant helps volunteers create veterans’ sensory garden

Bodnant gardener David Green has been helping volunteers and staff of the Blind Veterans Association create a sensory garden at their Llandudno centre, and was guest at the recent opening:

David and Bodnant’s head gardener John at the opening

The Blind Veterans Llandudno Centre has been developing a sensory garden in a previously overgrown, wooded area of their grounds.

The charity provides support to both ex-Service men and women blinded in action, and for veterans who have lost their sight through accident, illness or old age to discover life beyond sight loss. This support includes helping them to relearn vital life skills and providing them with the tools they need to be independent in their own homes as well as offering new learning, training and recreation opportunities and providing long-term nursing, residential and respite care.

 The new garden provides a safe and stimulating outdoor environment for visitors to the centre, but also provides a venue for other educational activities. A rope handrail is available to guide visitors around the garden which is planted with difference textures and colours for the partially sighted as well as numerous scented plants. Listening guides have also been provided so that visitors can learn to identify the birdsong in the garden.

It was designed by a garden designer from London but most of the physical activity in clearing and replanting the area has been done by volunteer groups co-ordinated by staff at the centre.

Originally I was asked to advise on creating a vegetable garden from the pallets left over from their plant delivery. In the future, I will also be providing a maintenance plan with advice on things like pruning cornus to get the maximum winter colour and keeping some more thuggish plants such as periwinkle in their place.

 

A wildlife hotel made from palettes and a bench carved from a tree

The opening of the garden is in celebration of the charity’s 100 years of service. It was also an opportunity to thank all the volunteers involved in the creation of the garden as well as recognising the vital input they made by volunteers at the centre during National Volunteer’s Week.

For more information contact the centre at Blind Veterans UK, Queens Road, Llandudno, LL30 1UT (call 01492 868700) or go to the website www.blindveterans.org.uk

For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or catch up with us on Facebook  or Twitter.

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