Seventeen blind and partially-sighted members of Bloomers Gardening Group, together with seven members of the Hepscott Horticultural Unit, visited Dilston Physic Garden at Corbridge.
They are all enthusiastic gardeners and the visit was enhanced by a talk by the resident medical herbalist Ross Menzies, who showed them around the gardens and explained the role plants have played in herbal medicine for many centuries.
Over the last few years many generous groups have provided grants to enable Bloomers to flourish. These grants have allowed the group to have an annual outing to places such as Dilston Physic Gardens, where the staff were extremely supportive, showing members around and allowing visually-impaired visitors to feel the texture of the plants, to smell the aromatic ones (of which there were many), to taste edible plants, and hear about the history of the garden.
The services of Ross Menzies made it even more enjoyable and the information he gave was both interesting and amusing.
Bloomers’ aim is to prevent visually-impaired people (VIPs) from losing their gardening skills due to the onset of visual impairment. Also it prevents exclusion of VIPs who have never had the opportunity to garden in the past due to sight loss.
Gardening restores lost confidence and self-esteem and gives members the opportunity to make new friends.
Bloomers Gardening Group, which meet on the third Friday of every month, would like to thank Hepscott Horticultural Unit for its hospitality each month and for being able to join forces with it, being able to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.