Therapeutic Garden

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Client Brief: The Hospiscare Garden was designed to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of people with terminal illnesses, their families and caregivers.  Hospiscare asked for a modern, spa-like and soothing garden.

Philosophy.  This design was guided by the ideas of providing sanctuary and contemplation in a beautiful and contemporary garden.  The garden is intended to be a place where people feel lifted from themselves and transported to a place which stimulates the senses while calming the spirit.

Design. Inspired by meandering meadow paths, the garden is curvaceous and contemplative.  For year-round structure and interest, there is architectural structure with evergreen hedges. Trees have soft up-lighting and there is a vibrant under-planting of herbaceous perennials.  Other key features include a sunken seating area with central water feature;  recessed benches within plantings and Corten steel art to complement the purple and rust-coloured tapestry of flower plantings.  The awning provides a shelter from the sun and rain as while providing a performance space. Trees and shrubs attract birds and butterflies. Privacy from neighbouring sight-lines has also been created.

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  1. Seating and Water Feature. Three individual benches are recessed into plantings under tree canopies. Inside the circular seating area are additional benches for small groups of people. A focal point of the garden, the space feels like a refuge and embrace and is where a spherical water fountain is surrounded by a cluster of smooth river rocks. From here, paving radiates outward like water ripples from a pebble dropped in water.
  2. Flower beds. A restful, naturalistic planting of sumptuous purples and blue is set against Corten steel art designed by Kathryn Aalto.  The flower composition is composed of plants that are mostly drought-tolerant so that maintenance is minimised.  Mounded boxwoods add structure and evergreen colour to beds of herbaceous perennials.
  3. Year-round interest. Evergreen hedges of hornbeam and box define the space in all seasons. They add serenity, simplicity and greenery to the garden. The sculptural and multi-stemmed Amelanchier canadensis will be carefully trimmed to not exceed 3 metres. They offer interest all year-round: white flowers in spring, berries in summer and a flush of crimson and orange leaves in autumn. They are a repeating motif in the garden and create moving swirls of dappled light on the paving as the sun passes overhead.
  4. Paving. Slate pavers add a sophisticated and contemporary edge and look to the garden.
  5. Vegetable beds. Raised Corten steel planters provide a place for tending herbs and flowers and is a place for patients to get their hands in dirt and feel a part of nature.East_Devon_Hospiscare_Perspective_2_[Col][1] (2)

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