Carers set to reveal haven of tranquillity at first garden party

The first ever Garden Party at Beaverbrooks House on Newton Drive will mark the official opening of the Laurence Mitchell Garden  by Deputy Mayor Councillor Gary Coleman and deputy Mayoress Debbie Coleman.
Teddy bear's picnic
The first ever Garden Party at Beaverbrooks House on Newton Drive will mark the official opening of the Laurence Mitchell Garden  by Deputy Mayor Councillor Gary Coleman and deputy Mayoress Debbie Coleman. Teddy bear's picnic
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The not-so-secret woodland garden of Blackpool Carers Centre opens to the public this Saturday.

Close on four million viewers watched hundreds of volunteers dig in for victory for young carers on the BBC DIY SOS Big Build for Children in Need.

Almost a year on the garden designed by top landscape architect Laurence Mitchell out of a tangle of brambles, branches, roots and ivy, has become a haven for carers.

The first ever Garden Party at Beaverbrooks House on Newton Drive will mark the official opening of the Laurence Mitchell Garden – by Deputy Mayor Coun Gary Coleman and deputy Mayoress Coun Debbie Coleman.

The event coincides with National Carers’ Week which runs until Sunday.

Laurence recalls how he stood ‘in the midst of the jungle’ and imagined different spaces, linked with walkways, where children could play, relax and be creative.

That vision became reality when hundreds of volunteers gave up work, income or their own leisure to toil for days over clearing and then creating a born-again woodland garden.

Some have since helped out with specific projects or ongoing maintenance work.

The specialist expertise of staff and learners from Myerscough College continues to help the garden flourish. Laurence has also made several pilgrimages from his Devon base to check on the garden.

It’s been used for picnics, lantern evenings and barbecues, workshops and play sessions, counselling and encouraging environmental awareness.

The charity also hopes to help young carers grow and cook their own food.

Chief executive Michelle Smith said: “The whole idea was to provide a safe haven, somewhere to play or just ‘be’. The garden is beautiful.

“We thought National Carers’ Week would be a great opportunity to invite others to see the gardens.

“We will never ever take what we were given here for granted. So much hard work, vision and tender loving care went into each and every part of Beaverbrooks House inside and out.

“Our young carers love to play here, older carers love to relax and take time out here and it’s a vibrant living growing resource – we all derive joy from it each and every day, whatever the weather.

“So we’d like to share that with the public.”

Attractions include the Grand Theatre choir, plant stall and hanging basket demonstrations by Myerscough College, a barbecue provided, cooked and served by Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, a wood carving demonstration by DIY SOS veteran local chainsaw sculptor James Shelliker, street dancing by Urban Dance Project, biscuit decorating by Burtons, CJ Tazz children’s entertainer, ‘Frankly’ Sinatra Story singer Phil Swift, Jimmy O’Donnell Memories, and much more.

The free event runs from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, June 17.