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"Nurturing with Nature:" a re-landscaping  for Maggie’s Cheltenham II

Having operated for the past eight years, the center needed to expand to accommodate a growing number of visitors.  The extension is sited on the existing courtyard garden necessitating a re-landscaping of the site.


Gardens are integral to Maggie’s Centres, acting as thresholds or transition spaces that lead people away from the hospital into a different, sheltered realm. The gardens are also seen in a therapeutic context , enabling patients and visitors to connect with nature and the seasons, undoubtedly beneficial for both mind and spirit. “People project their grief and suffering onto nature”, said the late Charles Jencks. “Nature reflects the seasons, it is life and death, and that’s why gardens are so important to us”.


Thus connectedness with nature is an elemental need which we all depend on. Such is the philosophy behind the landscapes and gardens of Maggie’s Centres and included in the new design at Maggie’s Cheltenham. Here the aim has been to create a space for calm relaxation and distraction away from the difficulty that is illness.


Pleached flowering trees screen a small area of the garden adjacent to the centre, so blocking the view and noise from the road. This is an outdoor  meeting ‘room’ for visitors with a curved raised corten planter planted with colourful and scented perennials and grasses and incorporating contemporary wooden seating.

Blossom and colourful and scented perennials, chosen to bloom from early spring through to late autumn , bring joy and restfulness to visitors and have the additional benefit of providing bees, and a wide range of insects, with both pollen and nectar. A refuge for all.


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