Designer Valerie Bond with Adam Hunt of Urquhart and Hunt who are creating new gardens for Marymount Hospice.

Show stopping gardens set for Marymount

By Marguerite Kiely

Work has got underway on new gardens for Marymount Hospice.

Spearheading the design are Urquhart and Hunt, winners of the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 Best in Show award.

The project is a collaboration with local Cork designer Valerie Bond, along with West Cork-based landscaper Colm Cronin. The team said they hope to deliver gardens that will provide serenity and calm for patients, families and staff at the facility.

The ambitious project comprises four distinct areas: an arrival garden, a remembrance garden, a wildflower spiral meadow situated on a land-protected fairy fort, and a grove designed for families to gather. Each area has been sensitively considered to ensure a harmonious interaction between people and nature.

There is also a plan to enhance two existing ponds by introducing aquatic plantings, encouraging a thriving habitat for wildlife and enriching the biodiversity of the landscape.

The project is already in progress, with land preparation and drainage having commenced two weeks ago. It is estimated that work will be completed in July, with a second phase of works going ahead in the autumn.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, Valerie said: “Everyone in Cork has a connection in some way to Marymount and knows the incredible care that’s given there. It is such a privilege to be asked to deliver a space which will mean so much to so many people.”

When asked about their aspirations for the project, she said she hopes it will be a sanctuary for people to spend cherished moments with their loved ones while finding solace in nature during challenging times.

“Essentially, we want to deliver a space to the patients, visitors, and staff which will be calming and nature-driven. Nature is so soothing, and we need it most in life-changing moments. We really want it to be a special space,” she said.