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Willow Garden


Back in the summer of 2017 Alan Gardner AKA (Ch4's Autistic Gardner) came to visit Leafy Fields. He was good enough to design for us a wonderful garden for in front of the stable block. He watched how the children and adults used the area and made his plans to uniquely suit our field. 

We achieved planning permission for his garden design in the spring of 2018. This only left time to do some of the ground works before the season started. So 2018-19 winter as soon as we closed we got to work with planting lots of pussy willow and hornbeams circles. We are completing the garden in phases as we are doing the work ourselves. The planting in the garden was completed ready by open of season Easter 2019. The hard landscaping will be completed over a longer period as work will only progress in the winters. In the winter 2019 - 20 we were delighted to be able to harvest willow fresh from the garden to make willow crafts, in a series of workshops which were very popular and we hope to repeat next winter.

Alan has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is a wonderfully positive role model for anyone on the spectrum.    

Over the years, Alan has created 40 Royal Horticultural Society gardens and won numerous awards at Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. Most recently, Alan won a silver medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015.

‘Gardens make me feel happy, says Alan.  ‘I have the need to grow plants.  I have the need to plant seeds and watch them grow.  I like being outside, I like being in the environment, I like every kind of weather, the light.  Every good gardener needs to love the outdoors.’ (from:

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