In 2004, a new two million pound extension was built onto the grade-two listed building at Ashgate Hospice. Chris Parsons started work on designing the six-acre grounds in late 2006.
The design wraps around the modern semi-circular day-centre extension, turning a previously precipitous drop into a new raised terrace, with a 3m retaining wall hidden by a new native woodland and three acre wildflower meadow. There is a shady secluded pergola walkway and a rear courtyard garden. Bright flowers frame the main entrance and buzz with insects all summer.
The brief included: the importance of nature to the mainly elderly patients, the importance of disabled access and appeal to all the senses. It is clear that the garden has made a massive difference to everyone who uses it, but most of all to patients at a vitally important stage of their lives.
It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated and cheerful people in such an uplifting place. It is a humbling experience to hear patients in wheelchairs, accompanied by loved ones, enjoying looking at the plants, remembering gardens past and lives lived.
Award for Landscape Design Excellence, BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) National Landscape Awards 2009.
Shortlisted, Building Better Healthcare Awards, 2010