Hannah Postles, Leeds Today; U.K.
Tracy Foster shows that visually impaired people can enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding a beach or a garden as much as sighted people. Her ‘See Hear’ garden proves it.
"It has been a challenge but I wanted to create the relaxed feeling you get when you are on holiday on a beach, and at the same time, recreate the sounds, textures, the scents and even the taste that you get in a seaside garden."
Garden designer Tracy Foster of Leeds (U.K.) has won a gold medal at the Gardeners' World show in Birmingham for her revolutionary Pounds 3,000 (approximately Rupees 2,37,000) seaside garden for blind people.
Foster teamed up with the ‘National Talking Newspapers and Magazines’ to design the 'Sea Hear' garden. "When I first started thinking about the show I was going to explore the theme of relaxation, so when the National Talking Newspapers and Magazines got involved I took things from there," she said.
The award-winning garden is flanked by two sandcastles on each side. The entrance has been sprinkled with beach shells, pebbles and driftwood that crunch under the visitors’ feet. The garden also has a whiff of aromatic herbs and seaside-smelling plants, including one which gives an oyster-like taste, were handpicked and prepared by Foster.
The professional gardener wanted to show that people with restricted or no sight can get just as much enjoyment from a garden as anyone else through her creation.
The garden enthusiast was helped in her endeavour by Leeds-based company ‘Garden Concept’ and local artist Julie Pope.