James's blog: 'To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow'


James*, who lives at Evelyn Fison Mews, talks about planting a garden in his new home and how it gives him hope for the future.

Avenues support nine people at Evelyn Fison Mews, a supported living service for people with acquired brain injury in Stowmarket.

Autumn is late this year, a large change, especially for gardeners. In the middle of October, plants are still flowering and this has maintained the pleasure of gardening.

When I moved into my new home in May 2016, I had been in hospital for four months and greatly missed the garden. The ground outside my flat needed care and attention, as shrubs that were present were mature and passed their best.

With great support from the staff from Avenues the garden has been changed through planning and physical effort. As the garden receives sunlight directly from dawn to late afternoon, its potential was realised straight away. A courtyard garden has produced a beautiful display of flowers, with variety, colour and scent.

The garden also includes bird feeders and a tiny pond, which are not only used by a variety of wild birds, but also 2 regular ducks, ‘Donald’ and ‘Daisy’, who have had many offspring this last few months.

Activity in the garden goes beyond daytime, as hedgehogs enjoy its seclusion. All plants that I have grown have been produced locally, with advice from local market and nurseries. 

A garden means much more than labour, it means planning, observation and discussion with staff for the help and support. After 4 months in hospital, it is beautiful to open my living room door and step around all the flowers, beans and tomatoes and this has greatly helped in my recovery, both physically and emotionally. 

To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow. 

*not his real name 

14th November 2016