Last night Alan Titchmarsh’s ITV show Love Your Garden featured RLSB nursery children Harvey, 4, and his younger sister Megan, 1, after their garden underwent an incredible makeover to create a sensory haven for the two tots.
The Webb family's garden before the makeoverHarvey and Megan Webb, together with their parents Louise and Andy, were nominated by RLSB for the show, which set out to transform the backyards of some very special people in the UK.
Te children have a very rare genetic eye condition called Achromatopsia. They suffer from ‘day blindness,’ and their depth and clarity of vision is also affected. The condition can be described as like looking at a fuzzy black and white TV screen.
The Webbs used to worry about the safety of their largely concrete and unadapted garden – pictured to the right - and avoided letting the children play outside. RLSB challenged Love Your Garden to create a safe haven for Harvey and Megan, tailoring the space to their unique requirements.
Harvey and Megan both attend our specialist nursery in Kent, where they and their parents are supported by experts in the development of vision impaired children.
A sensory garden
The garden has been designed specifically so that the two tots can play safely and explore. It features a special shaded pergola area, a living wall, sand and water pits and straightened lines.
Hard landscaping expert David Domoney installed acoustic fencing to cut down the noise from the nearby railway line and a bespoke lighting system so that the kids can use the garden in the evening. Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill choose beautiful plants suitable for the shady environment.
The team also installed a living wall to maximise the planting space and to give the kids something tactile near the back door. Mum and Dad weren’t forgotten, with the one sunny corner of the garden given over to a seating area and entertainment space.
The Love Your Garden team clearly relished the challenge of creating a special garden for the Webbs, and during the show Alan commented: “It’s clear that Andy and Louise are determined that their children should have as normal an upbringing as possible. But what’s also clear is that there’s no where outdoors where those children can go and feel free, and yet safe. This garden has got to be that place.”
After days of graft by the Love your Garden team, Alan brought the Webbs back home for the big reveal. On seeing their new garden for the first time, Louise and Andy exclaimed: “Oh my gosh! It’s amazing!”
Louise with Harvey and Megan in their new gardenMaggie Bindon, Head of RLSB Early Years Services, featured on the show, advising the team what to consider in terms of sight impairment when planning the garden.
Maggie said: “We’re so delighted that the Webbs have benefited from Alan’s show. Sensory stimulation is crucial to the development of young vision impaired children, so for Andy and Louise to know that Harvey and Megan can come home from the nursery and continue to play, learn and explore in their own garden is absolutely fantastic.”
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View photos of Harvey and Megan’s new garden.
If you missed the show, you can catch it on ITV Player.