From 10th-18th June, families affected by missing, as well as Missing People staff and volunteers, attended Gardeners’ World Live, and created a garden border ‘Missing You’ to commemorate missing loved ones.
The border display garden was designed and created by a group of families of missing people, and those who sadly died whilst missing. Families involved include Mike and Karen Bone, parents of Matthew Bone, who went missing and was later found deceased, and Julie and Rob Stammers, parents of missing Anthony from Essex. Together, these families also wanted to recognise and celebrate the 30 years of the charity.
The garden border has been created by families who are missing loved ones. They hope to convey the moments of escape and refuge that tending a garden can provide by becoming fully absorbed in the healing power of nature. It also captures the difficult emotional journey experienced fluctuating between feelings of hope, loss, and reflection.
The border is a retreat and demonstrates mindful gardening bringing peace. The metal and perspex figures remind us that although the loved one is missing, they are never forgotten, and the search never ends. The still water allows for reflection on happy memories and strengthens hope for the future. The names displayed on the tree’s branches remind families that they are not alone. The calm meadow planting provides relief from the ambiguous sense of both hope and loss, represented by the darker planting.
The garden attracted interest from the public and was also awarded a Silver Merit at the awards ceremony. You can see images of the finished garden in our gallery here.
Families at Gardeners’ World Live also spoke to BBC West Midlands to discuss the garden border and its meaning. You can listen to this audio clip here.
We also launched our new strategy ‘From Crisis to Hope.’ at Gardeners’ World Live. This new strategy highlights our aim to work towards three main goals:
Read our new strategy ‘From Crisis to Hope’ here.
We at Missing People would like to thank the following people for their contributions to the garden. We would not have been able to create such a beautiful garden without them!
Thank you to: Cherry Carmen, Olivers Nursery, Ursula Ankeny, Righton Blackburns, stonewarehouse.co.uk, John Mayling, and Hillier Trees.
A special thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, none of this would have been possible without their ongoing support.