Physic garden to open in Bristol to help homeless

by Alice Wright

A garden filled with scented and edible plants is to be created in central Bristol to help homeless people gain horticultural qualifications.

Jo Malone London, the luxury cosmetics and perfume brand, has teamed up with national homeless charity St Mungo’s Broadway to create The Castle Park Physic Garden, which will officially open in June.

Howard Sinclair, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Gardening is renowned for its therapeutic benefits and we hope that being involved with The Castle Park Physic Garden will help the people we work with in their recovery from homelessness.

“Not having a home to call your own, and traumatic experiences before that, can have a lasting effect on people’s lives. Through this project people will be supported to tackle mental health issues, learn new skills and get back into employment.”

Mark, a client of St Mungo’s Broadway, said: “Working in the garden has given me new confidence and changed my outlook. It’s helped me to imagine the future.”

The garden, which has been designed by Emma Coleman, is situated next to the ruins of St Peter’s Church, which was bombed heavily during the Second World War.

The garden is part of Jo Malone’s global charity initiative, supporting vulnerable communities to build and maintain beautiful, scented gardens.

Its first garden was The Old English Garden in Battersea Park, London, with the charity Thrive. Thrive uses the therapeutic benefits of gardening to help change the lives of disabled people.

 Last summer Jo Malone London opened The Herb Garden and Roundhouse in The Redhall Walled Garden, Edinburgh, with the Scottish Association of Mental Health and The Kirkdale Country Garden in Liverpool with Rotunda, a charity that works with disadvantaged people in the deprived area of the city.

Jo Malone London has created a limited edition charity candle to help fund The Castle Park Physic Garden and its other projects. A donation equal to the retail price (before VAT) of the White Lilac and Rhubarb candle will go directly to its gardens around the country.

The candle, which costs £42, will be available from May.

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