It wasn’t just Olympians and Paralympians returning to Nottingham with medals this summer. City-based horticultural experts, Hosta Consulting, took Gold for their ‘drop of urban green’ inspired garden from this year’s Royal Horticultural Show at Tatton Park.
Just a few months on, Hosta has brought the garden home, reinstating it at Manvers Court in Sneinton. The team, which has worked with Nottingham City Homes (NCH) on a number of projects, vowed to bring the garden back to one of the city’s communal spaces, so tenants and residents have the chance to make the most of the award-winning design.
Hosta worked with Nottingham-based ground working specialists, Thomas Bow, to create an urban pocket park inspired garden for display atthe RHS Tatton Park flower show in July this year. The garden represents what can be achieved in unused and unloved pockets of space in towns and cities across the world.
Originating in the USA, research has found pocket parks and green infrastructure are hugely important for cities, providing a restorative environment away from these stresses of a busy city. They also provide little green corridors for wildlife such as pollinators to visit and help cool and improve the air quality in towns and cities.
Manvers Court, along with its neighbouring blocks, Kingston and Bentinck, have recently benefited from a raft of improvements provided by NCH, creating warmer, more efficient homes, with a whole new look to the exterior of the buildings. Residents will now be able to enjoy this drop of green space on their doorstep.
Nottingham City Homes’ Chief Executive, Nick Murphy, said: “We’re committed to creating homes and places where people want to live. I’m delighted that HOSTA is bringing this garden back to Nottingham and making it available as a communal space for some of our tenants. It’s truly very special”.
Wide ranging research has shown the positive impact of green spaces on a person’s mental health, helping to tackle anxiety, depression and stress. A recent study by the University of Edinburgh discovered a person’s stress level was directly linked to the amount of green space in their direct surroundings, suggesting the more green space that surrounds them, the less stressed a person is likely to be.
Ed Higgins, Architectural and Landscape Designer at Hosta Consulting, said: ”The garden at Manvers Court is part of a re-landscaping scheme which aims to improve residents’ environment and promote biodiversity.
“The relocation of the RHS Tatton Park garden, ‘A drop of urban green’, originally envisaged as an urban pocket park, has been placed at Manvers Court to provide residents with a place to relax and enjoy the British-native wildflowers. At RHS Tatton Park show one of the key aims of the garden was to highlight the benefits of exposure to nature, including stress-reduction and anxiety.”
The garden not only features a range of planting, landscaping and seating areas, it also includes the words of local poet, Ben Norris, who’s poem ‘Salvage Yourself’ is inscribed on the wall of the garden.
His words, designed to inspire those sitting in the garden to relax and leave the stresses of everyday life behind, will now be on display for NCH tenants for years to come. Ben said: "Working on this poem was a new and exciting challenge for me. I love nature and have always found it calming and restorative, so I was able to channel that into the writing, but beyond that I wanted to create a piece that spoke not only of nature in general, but specifically to the garden itself; physically tiny but spiritually and anthropologically vast.
“I want people to be able to step into the garden, and into the world of the poem, and feel like they are miles away from the myriad anxieties modern living throws at us, without having to actually escape the city they live and work in. I wanted to celebrate nature without vilifying the urban. Also, it's nice to have something you've written inscribed onto a massive wall!”
Manvers Court tenant, Souleymana Traore, said: “This is a lovely idea. I will certainly use it during the summer, it’s nice to have somewhere to sit outside. There are a couple of young families living in this block and I know the children will like having somewhere to play.”