A new community garden at Aldershot Military Museum has been officially opened by Commander of Aldershot Garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Burley.
The Resilience Garden is the result of a project led by Hampshire Cultural Trust to engage local people from both the Armed Forces and civilian communities who are recovering from mental health illnesses to design and create a community garden. The project’s participants worked with a garden designer, mosaic artist and willow weaver to plan and build a space for reflection, for wildlife and for the senses. A series of creative sessions were held, where participants created mosaics which now feature in the garden. The bold mosaics and willow features offer year-round interest and the various seating points encourage visitors to pause and enjoy the space.
A dedicated allotment area and greenhouse will offer opportunities for the wider community to maintain and develop the garden - to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs whilst learning new skills.
The plants featured in the garden were selected for their symbolic meaning; poppy for remembrance, tulip for gratitude, daisy for hope, laurel for victory, maple leaf and nasturtium for patriotism and finally the Rose of Sharon, representing resilience.
Grant funding for the project has been received from The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, Rushmoor Borough Council St Mark’s Ward Councillor Grant, Hampshire Gardens Trust and Friends of the Aldershot Military Museum. Materials and labour were donated by Haskins Forest Lodge Garden Centre, Gavin Jones and the Church Crookham and Fleet Men's Shed.
The Resilience Garden will continue to be a space which brings communities together and supports wellbeing. The museum and garden can be visited from Wednesday to Sunday, as well as daily during school holidays, 10am - 4pm. Entry to the resilience garden is included in museum admission price.
Photography by Paul Gonella/Strong Island Media.