Even in the garden. Every picture……..

Happy in my garden

Tells a story or prompts a memory

Whilst looking for a new photograph to update my Instagram profile. I came upon this cheerful shot. It was taken by Joey Kelly for the Evening News back in 2013. This image was for an article by journalist Gina Hendry. The resulting article was about my recovery from breast cancer and the support I received from the Edinburgh Maggie’s centre. Which has supported thousands of people affected by cancer, since it first opened in 1996.

At the end of eighteen months of support from the amazing team of specialist and volunteers at the centre. As a result of my garden design background. I was invited to become their therapeutic garden specialist. Subsequently caring for the gardens and working with centre users and volunteers in the gardens. Coupled with my gradual return to work and a life beyond cancer.

The Edinburgh centre has recently had a major redevelopment designed by Richard Murphy Architects who worked with Maggie to design this first centre.

This redevelopment has meant big changes for the landscape around the centre. With building work finished, over the last year Watergems have planted up the new garden. The planting scheme contributed by Emma Keswick, Maggie’s cousin.

Loyal volunteers Tom and Keven in the summer glory of the courtyard garden at Maggie’s Glasgow

In the meantime I have continued to make regular visits to care for the Glasgow Maggie’s centre garden with the help of very loyal volunteers and a monthly team of helpers from Barclays in Glasgow without whom the woodland and gardens would be unmanageable.

The garden at Gartnavel

Lily Jencks, Maggie’s daughter designed the Gartnavel garden and grounds Consequently we work with Lily’s initial concept of a supportive, protected place. In doing so we ensure that the gardens in and around the centre are welcoming, uplifting and joyful. At the same time they offer comfort and inspiration to centre users and the exceptional people that work and volunteer there. Above all else I am delighted by how beautifully the garden has come on in the years since I was first asked to care for it. Particularly how well it does meet its purpose. If not surpass it.

Hence a search for a simple profile image has inspired me to reflect on and share a little of the story behind it.