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The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

By garden designer Fi Boyle and Independent Gardening Ltd. The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden will be used by ex-service personnel undergoing rehabilitation for PTSD/Combat Stress.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

The garden ‘flows’ with smooth, non-slip, honey-coloured resin bound paths complementing dry stone walling and embracing important design considerations: Benches are ‘safe’, backing onto ivy walls, designed so that there is nowhere to hide IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).

Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

There are clear lines of sight (to avoid the fear of being ambushed). The grass is covered with mesh to allow for year round access and wheelchair use. There are areas for contemplation, reflective rather than noisy water, robust yet airy and soothing planting (no reds/oranges) with a mix of evergreens, perennials and spring flowering trees providing year-round interest.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

The planting is designed to attract wild-life; particularly important as the garden will be overlooked by the Activity Centre at Combat Stress’s headquarters, where rehabilitation also encompasses painting and writing. The garden is intended to provide both inspirational and healing views. Groups of tables and chairs provide areas where families can meet those undergoing therapy.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

The centrepiece is a young oak, purchased by veterans to replace one felled at ‘Combat Stress’ headquarters, where the garden is to be installed. It is a symbol of strength and endurance so particularly pertinent to the armed forces. The planting is layered to give depth and form to the space creating privacy, but not ‘hiding’ places.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

Fi Boyle originally trained as a graphic designer at the Central School of Art and Design in London. She went on to work as a designer and illustrator for a variety of companies. Fi’s husband is an ex-regular officer in the army and suffered PTSD following a serious accident a few years ago.

Hampton Court Flower Show 2010 The Combat Stress Therapeutic Garden

Plants List 

Click on any of the green highlighted plant names below to read more and to add to your own plants list.

Trees   
Quercus robur                   
Amelanchier lamarckii 
Sorbus hupehensis  
Cornus kousa           

Shrubs
 
Buxus sempervirens 
Cotinus coggygria ‘Young Lady’       
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ 

Perennials 
Acanthus mollis                     
Agastache ‘Liquorice Blue’ 
Ajuga reptans ‘Catlins Giant’            
Alchemilla mollis            
Astrantia major               
Bergenia cordifolia                
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ 
Calamintha nepetoides       
Campanula   
Echinacea
Franchoa sonchifolia ‘Rogerson’s Form’ 
Geranium  
Helleborus foetidus ‘Harvington Pewter’ 
Liriope muscari     
Marjorum     
Nepeta racemosa ‘Walkers Low’               
Penstemon
Pulmonaria           
Rosa glauca                   
Salvia           
Sedum               
Tellima grandiflora  
Verbena bonariensis     

Ferns 
Asplenium scolopendrium 
Athyrium filix-femina ‘Frizelliae’       
Polystichum setiferum    

Grasses 
Molinia caerula ‘Skyracer’             
Panicum virgatum ’Heavy Metal’     
Pennisetum ‘Tall Tails’               

Water
Nymphaea Virginalis