Hints & Tips
Garden designer Chris Beardshaw has announced the creation of a new outdoor space, following on from his success at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.
He won a Gold Medal and The People's Choice Award there – and his new design will be displayed at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July.
The garden has been supported by retirement developer McCarthy & Stone – and it is hoped it will help to challenge ageism and the broader preconceptions surrounding old age.
It has been designed in such a way that it encourages visitors to take their time walking through, so they have plenty of time to engage with the audio clips that have been captured especially for the show.
This was gathered through a dedicated campaign carried out by McCarthy & Stone over social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"The audio element in the design is important as we wanted visitors to be able to engage with the garden in a way that is rarely possible in a show garden and for visitors to be able to learn from the wisdom of the older population," Mr Beardshaw explained.
Respondents over the age of 60 were invited to upload their personal stories and any other contributions via these networks – or by email. It was noted that this action itself already dispels some of the myths surrounding old age as it tackles the presumption they are not tech-savvy.
Mr Beardshaw said he hopes the green space stimulates discussion surrounding the boundaries of age and later life.
As such, the valuable experience and contributions that older people offer is celebrated, as well as the continued value they can offer in retirement.
"I have long believed that there should be much greater integregration and syngery between the generations," said Mr Beardshaw.