21st Sep, 2020

Gardeners’ World to feature Chelmsley Wood balcony gardens

Sarah Mason 23rd Jul, 2018

BALCONIES in Chelmsley Wood are set to look a little bit prettier following a transformation by Gardener’s World.

Earlier this month presenter Frances Tophill joined in with the transformation of three balconies into a cottage garden, tropical paradise and an edible balcony at Fillingham Court.

The results can be seen on BBC Two tomorrow (Friday) at 9pm.

The project, funded by WM Housing, the National Lottery and National Grid is the brainchild of the Chelmsley Wood community- based company Gro-Organic.

Project lead Stacey Sammons has been working with the residents of the three-floor 40 apartment scheme for the over 55s since the beginning of the year.

She said: “The work on the balconies is the culmination of six months’ consultation with the residents which has helped build community spirit and boost their well-being.

“Every day in our work we see the transformative effects of gardening on communities and individuals’ physical and mental health and that’s certainly been the case at Fillingham Court.

“We’re really excited about this project and it will be great for the residents to feature on Gardeners’ World.”

The gardening has been inspired by the interests of the residents and takes account of the growing aspects of each balcony including the space available and levels of sun, shade and wind.

Residents Carol Panton, 67, and Phil Roberts, 70, helped design their Victorian oasis balcony garden which follows the style of décor and furnishings of their ground-floor apartment.

Carol, who uses a wheelchair, has played a key role in the design of her balcony which includes planters and trellises with roses, fennel, lavender, ivy and various alpines.

She added: “It’s been a real focus for me this last few weeks and I’m looking forward to being on camera and determined to play a full part in the planting.

“I’m very happy with all the ideas and plants chosen except I did draw the line at geraniums.”

The apartments at Fillingham Court were developed and are managed by WM Housing as part of the regeneration of the estate.

WM Housing spokesman Mark Thomas, said: “This is an innovative project on one of housing schemes that we’ve been very keen to enable and support.

“It’s making a huge difference to how our residents feel about their homes and communities and boosts their health and well-being.

As well as the transformation of the three balconies, residents and the Gro-Organic team are also improving the communal gardens and working on other balconies.

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