We are so thrilled for our friend Ben Thornton aka The Young Grower this week as he is doing his first show garden at Gardeners World Live. His garden will be part of the beautiful borders display, and he has grown most of the plants for the display himself in Dalefoot Compost.
Ben has had quite a journey to get here. In 2009 at age 14 his life was turned upside down when he was paralysed by a rare spinal condition that left him with a lifelong disability. Ben has documented his growing and healing experiences on social media, showing how gardening helped him in ways that are more than just physical. When Ben started gardening, his mobility was severely limited. But just a year after getting his allotment, his body started to come back to life. He believes that letting nature in and spending time in his garden has helped him to heal.
Ben’s journey is one of sheer determination, empowerment, and love for nature. He is living proof that you can still have the garden of your dreams, even if you are physically disadvantaged. Ben’s garden and attitude are an inspiration to us all.
His show garden is called the Love Yourself and Nature Retreat. It is based on this journey as a grower. It’s a peaceful and restorative place full of bright, inspiring colours and calm places to sit and take it in. It incorporates elements of his no dig organic allotment and is bursting at the seams with colour and life. The garden is designed to help us appreciate nature and our own amazing selves.
Three of our other Dalefoot friends and regulars on our blog Stephanie Hafferty, Ade Sellars and Becky Searle, are also at Gardeners World Live this week. They have given and are giving talks on the Secret Homestead stage, inspiring more people to grow vegetables and garden organically.