College students helped grow rare plants for seizure garden

College students helped grow rare plants for Chelsea Flower Show

The Silver-Gilt winning 'Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden' grabbed the attention of many, and gained plaudits from judges and gardening experts alike, during this year's Chelsea Flower Show (21-26 May 2018).

Young Epilepsy was given the chance to get involved in this particular garden in honour of author and broadcaster, Leslie Forbes. In doing so, students at the charity's St Piers College grew some of the more unique plants which made the design so unique and it captured the imagination of gardeners, keen to spread the powerful message it conveys. They had grown such plants for over four months, from January.

Embroidered Minds was dedicated to author and Radio 3 broadcaster Leslie Forbes. She passed away in 2016 as a result of a big seizure. She wrote Embroidered Minds of the Morris Women, a fictional novel on the life of Jenny Morris, daughter of Victorian craftsman William Morris. Jenny had epilepsy. The garden is designed by Kati Crome, a dear friend of Leslie.

This garden sends a powerful message to people in helping them to better understand epilepsy. It will be seen by millions of people through visits to the garden itself or on television. The beauty of this landscape is a wonderful way to raise awareness of a serious condition that is still poorly understood.

Stories like Jenny Morris’s are sadly still all too common today. We at Young Epilepsy strive to break down the stigma associated with epilepsy, most recently, with the launch of our ‘In The Moment’ campaign, where we have heard from people who previously were ashamed to talk about the condition they’re living with. It’s still a shocking reality even in today’s society.

Our young people were absolutely fantastic at making this important garden a reality. We have a dedicated horticulture team that encourages them to embrace the outdoors by planting and enjoying nature. They’ve done an incredible job.

Young Epilepsy is delighted to have been part of this project inspired by two great women [Leslie Forbes and Jenny Morris] we are so proud to be associated with it.

Young Epilepsy takes pride in its 65 acres of land, used to encourage their children and young people - some of whom with highly complex epilepsies - embrace the outdoors through horticulture and farming, and treat it as a respite away from any stresses which could trigger seizures.
Young Epilepsy chief executive, Carol Long