BBC Gardener’s World Live

In 2019, following from the success of the previous year, I was asked again by Marie Curie to design a ‘Space For Remembrance’  border for BBC Gardener’s World Live.  Inspired by the work of Marie Curie to be a place of calm contemplation and remembrance, with textures and scent to evoke remembrance of loved ones, I was thrilled that the border was awarded a Gold medal.

In 2018 I was delighted to be asked by the Marie Curie legacy team to design a Beautiful Border for BBC Gardener’s World Live show at the Birmingham NEC. The brief was to highlight the relaxing and therapeutic benefits gardening can bring to health and well being and the ethos of Marie Curie, of providing light in the darkest hours to people with any terminal illness.

The design used a colour scheme that highlights the uplifting, sunshine yellow of the Marie Curie logo with blue, white and silver, replicating the peaceful ambience of the hospice garden at Solihull, where all the patient rooms have doors that open onto a small private patio area to allow even the most poorly of patients to be wheeled out in their beds to enjoy the sanctuary of the beautiful gardens.

Therapeutic plants such as chamomile, cotton lavender, evening primrose, lemon thyme and rosemary were chosen for their restorative and aromatic properties. As well as reflecting Marie Curie’s holistic approach to looking after the whole person, providing nursing care alongside emotional and psychological support for patients and their families.

The  pond offers an opportunity for peace and reflection, our memorial tree and pebbles encourage remembrance of loved ones and bereaved children find comfort in the fairy garden. The more formal end of the border with its soft, scented roses reflects the calmness and serenity of the hospice and medical staff, whilst the naturalistic wild flowers at the far end highlight the benefits of the immersive experience of being in, and part of nature. The meadow grasses have a magical ability to catch and reflect light and the thornless Golden honey locust tree, Gleditsia ‘Sunburst’ was chosen for its arching branches clothed in golden yellow, which are utterly enchanting when backlit by the sun.

It was a fantastic experience, working with a great team, receiving a Silver award, meeting other exhibitors, the wonderful Carol Klein and so many people who have had their lives touched by the care and support of Marie Curie.

All elements of both the borders have now been re-sited at the Solihull hospice, so that patients and families can continue to enjoy them in the future.

Carol Klein reviews the Beautiful Borders