Tucked away in a little corner of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, we are a group of people recovering from brain injury and Neurological illness.
Supported by Hywel Dda University Health Board Brain Injury and Complex Neurological Therapy Service, we get together every week to participate in a therapeutic gardening group, share support, laughs and ideas while growing vegetables and developing our community garden.
Hiya, it’s Paula again
What a productive day! Instead of tramping outside in the rain and churning up muddy veg beds, we used a classroom today and had a lovely time devising a plan of how we aspire our garden could be in the future.
Amy from the the education department at the Garden drew it out for us on a flip chart and Tanya the OT from the brain injury unit from the Hywel Dda Health Board drew a schematic on her laptop as well as a couple of us also sketching out something on paper. It was a good heads working together and sharing ideas opportunity.
And it highlighted how passionate we all are about our garden and how therapeutic we all find it.
The major thing we discussed was the acquisition of a polytunnel so we can still garden in the rain, as well as what needs to be done for its land preparation first and how to make it wheelchair accessible too.
We also sat around having a cup of coffee and pice bach/cacennau Cymraeg (Welsh cakes) – thank you Tanya – and spoke about our brain injuries; how they happened and how they affect us. I found it really cathartic to hear other people’s experiences and to speak to people who ‘just get it’. I think unless you have experienced it one wouldn’t know.
So, all in all, it was a lovely day, and a productive day even though no physical gardening took place. For me, coming here is much more than the therapy I get from gardening. It is the only time all week that I do something for myself.