Local woman, Sue Blaxland, who has co-led the U3A’s garden group for the past five years, is also a member of the Leicestershire and Rutland Gardens Trust. For several years Sue, (who is a retired garden designer), has been involved in research into the history of the walled kitchen garden of Leicester Frith House. This mansion was built in 1870 in large private grounds in what was then the open countryside along the Groby Road. The mansion, which naturally had a kitchen garden, was used as a home for shell-shocked soldiers of the First World War. It subsequently became part of Glenfrith Hospital for the mentally ill and the house and the walled garden still stand in the grounds of the present Glenfield Hospital.
Sue and other members of the Garden Trust have been researching the history of the Walled Kitchen Garden at the Hospital for several years. The walls of the kitchen garden still stand, although the garden had become derelict. However, the garden is being restored with the support of a team of volunteers into a beautiful outdoor area for staff of the hospital to relax in when they are off duty. It will also be available to be used by patients at the hospital and their families. While this will hopefully always be a boon, it must have been especially comforting during the past stressful year.
As part of their involvement in the project, the Trust is pleased to be able to donate two comfortable garden chairs to what is now known as ‘the Secret Garden’ at Glenfield Hospital. Sue and a Gardens Trust colleague will be delivering these chairs to the hospital in the Spring.