Access 4 Blues Winter 2018
The new magazine of Manchester City Disabled Supporters Association, Access 4 Blues, has just been published showcasing Mark’s work, as well as his passion for showing how the word ‘ability’ in disability can be used in a positive way.
Designing gardens for people with limited mobility and varying levels of ability, both physically and mentally can sometimes be a challenge. Everyone’s ability is different. It is therefore so important to get the design of a garden or outdoor space right from the start. This involves talking with the Client and, without being too personal, getting to know what they can and cannot do.
As a landscape and garden designer I need to get inside the Client’s head and understand what it is they require, for how long, choices of materials, plant selection, and then ensuring that the project runs to schedule, on time, and within budget.
I design gardens and outdoor spaces for private Clients, charities, organisations, hospitals, companies and local government across the UK. There is a real fun element to every project, as not one site is the same, and not one Client is the same. Everyday there is something new, either to learn or pass on.
Gardens and gardening are essential to our physical and mental wellbeing. The outdoors has a calming effect on our bodies and our innate need for greenery and fresh air is known as biophilia or the biophilic effect. Just 10 minutes a day in a garden can reduce blood pressure, slow down our breathing, relax our muscles or stimulate them when working in the garden.
I am also delighted with my new role as a BBC TV presenter on Gardeners’ World and for the RHS Flower Shows. I love writing and sharing ideas with people. I think it is important to give something back too, which is why I am an Ambassador for 3 charities, Greenfingers, Groundwork and Thrive. I have also just become Patron for Core Landscapes, a charity that transforms unused urban spaces into temporary gardens for the community to use and share.