Alan Titchmarsh garden to have grand opening at children's hospice serving St Albans youngsters

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 August 2015

The Alan Titchmarsh wildlife garden at Keech Hospice

The Alan Titchmarsh wildlife garden at Keech Hospice

Archant

A children's hospice which tends to youngsters from the St Albans district has received a magical new garden designed by TV personality Alan Titchmarsh.

The wildlife garden, at Keech Hospice’s site in Luton, was created as part of the successful show Love Your Garden, after producers visited more than 100 special organisations across the UK in the search for a suitable prject.

Alan and his team spent a week at Keech transforming an uninviting piece of land with the help of patients, families, volunteers and nurses. The green-fingered celebrity has since been back to film more and check on his handy work.

He said: “Being involved in the creation of a garden for Keech Hospice was a great honour.

“It’s clearly made a tremendous difference to the surroundings and is appreciated by the staff, and by patients and their families. I was delighted to play a part in its creation and hope it continues to offer hope and inspiration for many years to come. Gardens have tremendous healing properties as the Keech wildlife garden proves.”

St Albans mum, Mary Rishworth and her son Jack, who are supported internally and externally by Keech, feature in the show.

She said: “Meeting Alan Titchmarsh and helping to create the wildlife garden was amazing.”

“The sounds you hear make you feel happy and free from all the worries for a time. We’ve had picnics in the garden and the children enjoy using it as part of their music therapy and sensory learning with all the plants and flowers.”

Keech staff nurse Juliette Benson said the garden is also a popular new improvement with adult patients and staff.

“It is making a huge difference to patients and their families. To get outside for peaceful contemplation and relaxation and this in turn aids their healing in lots of ways.”

The hour-long Keech Hospice episode of Love Your Garden airs on ITV on August 18 at 8pm.

The garden will be officially opened during the Keechfest summer event from 11am-4pm on August 23, which features live music and dancers, craft stalls, a barbecue, a bouncy castle and other attractions.

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