As a landmark, Livability Holton Lee’s Greenhouse – an expansion of its Ashtree Cottage Garden – does not quite equal the former glories of the Crystal Palace. As a landmark of the development of Livability Holton Lee, it’s beyond compare.
Opened on April 6th, 2011 by Mrs Sara Weld of Lulworth Estate, which kindly donated the Greenhouse, Roger Johns of RJ Developments and Livability Holton Lee estate worker Stewart Cull, the Greenhouse adds 93m² of accessible, covered space for horticulture therapy.
It also enables Livability Holton Lee to expand production of high-value crops, such as asparagusand heritage vegetables.
Ashtree Cottage Garden was established along organic principles to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to visitors and local sales outlets. Livability Holton Lee aims to be as self sufficient as possible, recycling and sustainably using as many of our own resources as is practicable.
More than 50 people – including Livability Holton Lee Service Visitors and volunteers – attended the opening, which took place under glorious Spring skies.
Today’s weather was in contrast to the beginning of December when the Greenhouse was broken down at Lulworth and transported to Livability Holton Lee in near-blizzard conditions. Construction – including the arduous task of cleaning all 500 panes – began in early January when temperatures seemed to hover around 0ºC for most of the month.
Volunteers involved in cleaning the panes, RJ Developments staff, who erected the Greenhouse and employees of Honeybun Plant Hire, who levelled the ground to make the facility as accessible as possible for people in wheelchairs were warmly thanked by Livability Holton Lee Director Theresa Veith and Horticulture Manager Karen Gerry for their sterling efforts.
Therapeutic horticulture brings experiences of independent living, socialisation and the development of new skills into the garden and wider environment. For many people, this can be a stepping stone to greater independence and social inclusion, further training, education and employment.