The Garden Gate Project Margate

Nestled in the southwest corner of Northdown Park, by Friends Corner in Margate, you’ll find our idyllic one-and-a-half-acre walled garden which once supplied the fruit and vegetables to Northdown House – we are The Garden Gate Project.

 

Our shared mission at The Garden Gate Project is to provide a safe haven of tranquillity for adults in the community with learning disabilities and/or mental health needs. With the appropriate support, they are encouraged to engage in meaningful health, educational, creative, social, environmental, and leisure opportunities and occupations. Once you enter through our open Gate, you will discover that an ethic of therapeutic community gardening suffuses all that happens within the Garden’s walls.

An experienced gardener and care worker, our Garden Manager Paul Boyce has deftly and artfully created an environment that fosters the cultivation not only of the soil but also the horticultural and art and craft skills of every one of our community’s members according to their individual interests, abilities and enthusiasm. By doing so, he and his team of staff and volunteers have helped to improve the lives of many co-workers besides themselves over what is now almost twenty-five years. Everyone is encouraged to develop their personal strengths and independence through exploring the Garden and discovering the multitude of natural gifts and benefits it has to offer.

When Paul returned to take up the reins a decade or so ago he had a clear vision of introducing a native wildlife pond; polytunnels planted full of tomato vines, banana trees and bird of paradise blooms; an Italian-style wood-fired pizza oven; a rolling calendar of visiting artists and crafters to supplement our in house occupational therapy provision; a spring plant fair, an autumn craft fair and a National Garden Scheme Opening at the height of summer; and an annual July Music Day showcasing the very best of local talent to entertain & enrich the wider Isle of Thanet community and raise much-needed funds to support the project and guarantee its future and legacy. The Garden now stands as a worthy testament to all the hard work and efforts of all those who have contributed to realising each of these goals and so much more.

Open between 10am and 3pm on weekdays, the Garden welcomes visitors and enquiries from anyone who thinks they might benefit from its services or the rich bounty of harvested fruits, vegetables and flowers it provides. Pop in for a cuppa or visit on one of our open days to share in and celebrate all that’s been created. Together we grow!

 

Nick Condron

www.thegardengateproject.co.uk

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