Centre for Mental Health's The Balance Garden is a forward thinking community space celebrating the relationship between authentic nature connection and our urban communities mental health. The garden explores the perceived opposites of the human and natural worlds and discovers how they may be unified towards a healthy and abundant future for all. Within a harmonious space of ecologically driven planting and sensitively repurposed practical materials we herald the inspiration found in both the natural world and the urban landscape to offer an innovative expression of the beauty and healing qualities found in their balance.
Under pressures of tight budgets in less affluent areas the garden explores the importance of inclusivity and affordability in creating authentic nature experiences in the urban landscape.
Inspired by natural processes, forward thinking landscape innovations offer affordable, healthy and immersive nature-centred experiences in the urban setting. Embracing the authentic character of the local area and encouraging a sense of local pride, light touch and stewardship, the garden welcomes an inclusive multicultural community with space for social engagement and solitary contemplation.
The planting highlights wildflowers and "weeds" as an important part of urban ecology, an exploration of foraging opportunities and a celebration of a much-needed change in perception. A variety of ecotones are present from arid, crushed site waste substrates, immersive layers and a wealth of bio diversity opportunities towards wet leafy habitat, water edibles and tiered food forestry aspects for wildlife and community harvesting and engagement.
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Centre for Mental Health is an independent charity which challenges policies, systems and society, so that everyone can have better mental health. By developing mental health research, the Centre equips services and decision makers to meet people’s needs and reduce mental health inequalities.
After the show, the Centre for Mental Health Balance Garden will be relocated to Markfield Park in Tottenham, North London, creating a new space for the whole community to enjoy. Haringey, where Tottenham is located, has higher than national average levels of poverty and depression. Centre for Mental Health, in partnership with Wild City Studio, will monitor how the relocated garden is used within Markfield Park in the hope it can provide a blueprint for wild, urban community spaces that can be recreated across the UK.
Head to the link below to find out more about the garden and the people involved in its creation and legacy.