Jubilee Garden Ornaments Unveiled in Harpenden

A interesting array of garden statues were unveiled in parks and recreation areas around Harpenden in Hertfordshire this week, as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of 2012.

The high-end garden ornaments were commissioned by the local council, with Harpenden residents coming up with the designs, via a public competition that took place over the summer. The winning designs were all brought to life by Richard Sweetland of Bespoke Metalwork.

One statue, later unveiled in the High Street Sensory Garden, was designed by one Roy Bentley, while two more identical ornaments were the brainchild of a Grove Junior School pupil, identified only as Phoebe. They were also unveiled on Tuesday at Southdown Rose Garden and Batford Green, by Harpenden Mayor, Councillor Nicola Linacre.

The occasion was certainly a happier one for garden ornaments than the sad news from Bignor Gardens in the South Downs last week, where a valued sheep statue was crushed by a falling oak tree.

The garden statue was one of two made for the park by Bosham sculptress Willow Legge and is one of only 10 in existence. The park’s management are hoping to replace the broken ornament, but intend to keep the crushed sheep/oak tableau as an additional visitor attraction.

Charity Garden Nears Completion in Bewdley

Children and young disabled people will soon be able to enjoy a new courtyard garden in the Wyre Forest, Worcestershire, thanks to a grant from a charity.

The garden at the Longbank Centre in Bewdley has been built by the Kidz First charity, and was made possible by the local paper The Shuttle, which obtained a grant from its parent company’s charitable Gannett Foundation last December.

The garden was originally meant to open in the spring, but the terrible UK weather this spring and summer – which included heavy snow and flooding – meant that the project suffered delay after delay. But work has continued apace and organisers believe it will be ready in just a few weeks to host gardening and other educational activities.

Garden ornaments feature widely throughout the space, as well as pathways, a hopscotch court, palm trees, garden statues and a storytelling corner, among other attractions.

Kidz First chief executive,Sharon Weston told the paper that “the biggest bonus will be the sense of worth and usefulness felt by service users involved and the years of fun, creativity and places for contemplation they will have.”