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Widex Hearing Garden Award  

                              August 2008



The Widex Hearing Garden

Selina Botham of Designs for All Seasons has scooped both a Gold Medal and Best Small Garden award at this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. This is an amazing achievement especially as this is the first show garden she has ever created.

"I'm just so delighted to have won these awards for my first show garden design," comments Selina. "I want to thank everyone who supported me in this project including my sponsors Widex and AIHHP. I couldn't be more pleased."

'The Widex Hearing Garden - celebrating sound' was the first garden
created at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show to be designed around enjoying the sounds found in gardens. It was sponsored by Danish hearing aid manufacturer Widex and supported by the Association of Independent Hearing Healthcare Professionals (AIHHP).

The Widex Hearing Garden also included some key features such as an interactive 'Listening Wall' - where visitors could listen to garden sounds. Its purpose was to help visitors understand their hearing ability and to celebrate the pleasure it brings them.

Using sustainable silver birch harvested from local common land for the screens and chimes, the Hearing Garden also included a limestone water feature with sculpted spout falling into a plunge pool.

The garden's planting and design represents a typical sub-urban courtyard garden, creating a sensory wonderland that alludes to the world of hearing. Silvery willow and juvenile Eucalyptus provide a gentle background sound. Meanwhile, the jagged swords and spikes of Astelia and Fasciculia represent the frustration that can be associated with hearing loss. In contrast, soft herbaceous planting flows like a whisper around the water feature. Their mauves, greens and silvers create a sense of calm, which is enlivened by bright yellows and oranges.

All in all, this garden explores the important contribution sound makes to our natural environment and the enjoyment people get from their hearing sense. It also highlights how gardens can be experienced on another sensory level by being attuned to the 'sound-scape' all around.

As people's hearing diminishes some lose the auditory richness and texture this 'sound-scape' provides. However, many hearing impaired people describe enjoying nature's sounds again - birdsong, leaves rustling in the wind - when they first wear the latest digital hearing aids.

Selina Botham says she was inspired by the fact that people do not always appreciate the sounds around them. "Being in a garden, immersed in a full sensory experience is one of the great pleasures of life," she added. "I hope my design will help people to appreciate and celebrate those every day sounds that are so important in our enjoyment of the world around us."

To find your nearest Widex hearing aid dispenser or any further
information on hearing aids please Freephone 0800 093 0947.

For further information on the Association of Independent Hearing
Healthcare Professionals visit

Amazon book - A year at Kew  Amazon book - Gardens Through Time: 200 Years of the English Garden Amazon book - RHS Plants for Places: 1000 Tried and Tested Plants for Every Soil, Site and Usage (RHS) Amazon book - RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening: RHS Bi-centennial Edition (Royal Horticultural Society)
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