Award-winning garden designer Cleve West is joining forces with Bupa as it enters a show garden at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show for the first time.
Innovative garden landscaper Cleve West - known to millions through his BBC TV appearances on programmes such as "Small Town Gardens" and "The Garden Makers" - has four RHS Gold medals to his name already and hopes his collaboration with Bupa will lead to further success.
Cleve's design for The Bupa Garden in 2008 will build upon the sensory gardens project which has been running in over 250 of Bupa's care homes for the past six years. The scheme encourages local community groups, relatives, residents, and staff to work together to create a new sensory garden in the home, using features such as sculptures, running water and plants with bold shapes, strong scents and bright colours to stimulate the senses.
"I'm delighted to be working with Bupa on this exciting project," said Cleve. "Gardens provide both stimulus and solace so their value in care homes, for both residents and carers, should not be underestimated."
Features of the design for Bupa's show garden are not merely for aesthetic appeal. Path and paving schemes embrace the requirements of people with dementia so there are no dead ends or uneven surfaces. Planting has been plotted at various heights and depths to ensure tactile elements are accessible to those in wheelchairs as well as those who are not. Water features provide soothing background noise and the centrepiece of the garden is a bold spherical sculpture that symbolises the organisation's global values.
And what better way to highlight the key focus of the garden than to enlist the support of veteran actor Arnold Peters, who plays the part of the most famous dementia sufferer in the country – Jack Woolley of BBC Radio 4's The Archers – to launch the start of work and to raise awareness of the issues the garden will be addressing.
David Grint, Brand Director for Bupa, said: "We are immensely proud to have the interest and enthusiasm of one of the UK's most innovative garden designers.The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a world-famous event and provides a perfect opportunity to show how Bupa's individual health and care caters to people's sensory and emotional needs, as well as medical and nursing requirements."