Willow Wood has the most beautiful gardens designed to make the most of our varied climate, with borders planted up to look good in every season. There is an abundance of colour, texture and scent and this, together with our raised borders, means that everyone is able to enjoy them.
The gardens are a place of tranquility and beauty, and with a number of seating areas become a haven for those seeking a quiet few minutes away from their cares, or to enjoy an alfresco lunch break. All our bedrooms overlook either the main garden or the smaller, but just as lovely, zen garden, and all have a private patio with seating and parasols for when shade is required.
There are two water features in the garden which really bring it to life, especially in the Spring and Summer when ducks arrive, along with dragonflies, butterflies and a multitude of birds. The planting is designed with nature in mind, and there is a wild area with plants such as nettles and thistles to provide food for as many native species as possible.
During the warmer weather the gardens become an impromptu meeting place, and some of our Day Services activities are moved outside. You can often see a small group laughing and chatting as they sit around a patio table, and it is so lovely to see the gardens being used in this way. They also make a great backdrop for photos of visitors, whether local MPs or councillors, local businesses, schoolchildren, fundraisers or our staff.
Our gardens are largely maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers under the direction of consultant gardener Sophie. They also tend a small herb and vegetable garden, and as the strawberries, lettuces and other produce ripen they are harvested and used by our chef to provide the freshest of dishes for our patients, staff and volunteers.
We have recently started opening our gardens up for everyone to enjoy with our Christmas season 'Garden of a Thousand Lights' and our Summer event 'Cocktails & Dreams'. The gardens are also the venue for our wonderful Butterfly Memory Release, when hundreds of beautiful living butterflies are released to remember loved ones.