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Celebrating Springhill’s green space

Celebrating Springhill’s green space

To celebrate National Gardening week, we are taking a look at the wonderful, North West in Bloom Award winning gardens here at the Hospice. The gardens at the Hospice are well known for being a tranquil and calm space for both patients and their families to enjoy. They are maintained by a team of hardworking and passionate staff and volunteers.

Head Gardener, Nick Dent has been taking care of the gardens for the past fourteen years. He spoke to us about the importance of the gardens.

What would you describe as an average day in the Hospice gardens?

“Although every day is different currently an average day involves assigning tasks to volunteers, opening up the green houses, Polytunnels and cold frames and check what needs watering.

“We also have to harvest any vegetables and salad for the kitchen in the Hospice which makes meals for patients and their families and also for our café, Coffee at the Craven.

“We are also currently sowing, pricking out and planting a wide range of vegetables and plants for the coming season. We have also arranged the planting of a rose bush for a family in memory of a loved one. And of course talking about our gardens for National Gardening week!”

How many people are involved with looking after the gardens?

“We currently have two full time members of staff including myself and Harry the Groundsman. We also have 18 regular volunteers and help from corporate groups and the National Citizen Service.

“We’re really lucky that so many people take an interest and give up their time to keep the gardens looking good.”

There is plenty of green space at the Hospice, what is there in each of the  different spaces? 

“We have many mixed planting beds and borders, seasonal bedding beds and containers.

“We also have our sensory garden which is a very tranquil space, a vegetable garden, an orchard with 40 fruit trees, wildflower meadows and new for this year our 30th anniversary Labyrinth garden.”

Why do you think that gardening and all aspects of the outdoors at the Hospice is so important?

“Being in a garden and around nature has been proven to improve the health and wellbeing of a wide range of people. Here at the Hospice the gardens are a peaceful tranquil space for all to enjoy.

“We also use them for formal therapeutic uses with our Ecotherapy sessions with bereaved clients and our Good to Grow group with Day Hospice patients.”

How is the Hospice involved in the wider gardening community in the area?

“We are proud to be part of the ever growing community of gardening projects in the Rochdale Borough and are part of Rochdale in Blooms entry in the regional RHS Britain in Bloom competition. This involves helping to improve the environment where people live and work and help people to become more proud of where they live.”

For more information how you can become involved and  become a volunteer with the Hospice visit our volunteering page  https://­springhill.­org.­uk/­volunteering