Work has begun on the first ever show garden to highlight diabetes at the Malvern Spring Festival.
Transformation of part of a field into a show garden has begun at the Three Counties Showground, with 50 square metres of soil revealed.
The Habit of Living Garden is the first ever show garden in support of Diabetes UK. It aims to raise awareness of a condition which affects more people than cancer and dementia combined – 4.7 million people in the UK alone.
A personal project, design duo Karen Tatlow, of Karen Tatlow Garden Design in Lichfeld and Katherine Hathaway of Lark Hall Studios in Wiltshire, were inspired to build the garden as a result of watching loved ones in their own families struggle with the condition.
The garden is designed around the charity Diabetes UK’s branding and colour scheme. It is imagined as a small, private garden for a state of the art diabetes care centre. It will highlight the struggle faced by someone newly diagnosed with diabetes. Showing the emotional and physical journey they make before they are able to manage the condition well.
The landscaper is Mike Lote of MJL Garden Design in Lichfield. Materials are being supplied by Lichfield firms Tippers Building Materials and Ethan Mason Paving.
The team will be laying paving, building walls, planting a tree and installing mature hedges. The garden will also include a water feature with intermittent water jets to remind visitors that someone is diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes in the UK.
A major challenge will be installing sculptural graphs. These will be based on genuine data from a continuous blood glucose monitor. This represents the need for someone living with diabetes to constantly monitor their blood glucose levels.
Peter Shorrock, Diabetes UK Midlands and East of England Regional Head, said:
“Diabetes affects one in fifteen people and that’s why this show garden is such an important and innovative way to raise awareness.
“In particular, we hope it will increase understanding of the mental health aspects of living with the condition among the 100,000 or more visitors to the Malvern Spring Festival and to a wider audience beyond.”