Sparsholt College is delighted to have partnered with cancer support charity Maggie’s to design a garden display for the first BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair to be held at Beaulieu from 28-30 May.

The garden, designed by Garden Design students at Sparsholt College, will take inspiration from the newly built Maggie’s in the grounds of University Hospital Southampton. The Beautiful Border display for the Beaulieu show will incorporate features of the garden at the centre on a smaller scale, including using the same plants, trees, and even materials from the centre’s building.

The garden has been titled ‘The Journey’ – symbolising the journey of those with cancer, and their family and friends, and the support that they receive from Maggie’s through the stages of diagnosis, treatment and support.

Chris Bird, Horticulture Lecturer and lead designer, commented: “We’re so excited to be partnering with Maggie’s to build our beautiful border design at Beaulieu. This is an incredible opportunity for our students to support a local charity, whilst also getting experience working with therapeutic garden design at a major gardening show.”

Garden Design student Liz Boyt has expressed her excitement for the project, saying “I am extremely grateful & excited for this opportunity to be working on designing a border for Maggie’s and to help promote the fantastic work that they do. It’s great to get the chance to put the garden design skills & knowledge learnt at Sparsholt to real use and showcase the result at Beaulieu.”

Since Maggie’s opened their first centre in 1996, the charity has developed a free programme of support that is proven to help people with cancer and their loved ones feel more in control. Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals, the centres are designed uniquely to provide a home-like space for cancer patients, their family, and friends away from the clinical environment of the hospital.

Each building is designed alongside a bespoke therapeutic garden – an integral feature of each building – to provide their centre visitors a reflective, peaceful outdoor space. The garden at Maggie’s in Southampton is set within a woodland glade, an oasis in the grounds of the hospital’s suburban campus and draws inspiration from the nearby New Forest National Park. The vision is for there to be the strong sense that the garden has always been there, a natural haven that provides seclusion and protection from the outside world.

Gemma McKnight, Fundraising Manager for Maggie’s Southampton, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sparsholt for this year’s BBC Gardener’s World Spring Fair. At Maggie’s we recognise that the space around us (whether inside or out) creates an environment which helps our visitors to find the emotional space they need. We’re enjoying working with the garden design students to re-create our space at the Spring Fair.”

Sparsholt College, nestled in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, is a leading land-based College, with an unrivalled reputation for the delivery of Horticulture courses. Students from Horticulture courses work closely with the Royal Horticultural Society, and the College has received multiple Gold medals at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in recent years.

The BBC Gardener’s World Spring Fair at Beaulieu will be taking place May 28-30, with tickets on sale now.

Find out more about Sparsholt College’s Horticulture courses here.

Find out more about Maggie’s Centres here.

Book tickets now.