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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 13:21 GMT
Special garden for cancer centre
Landscape project impression
Patients should be able to start using the garden in the summer
A new 250,000 landscape garden project is to be undertaken at the Maggie's Cancer Care Centre in Dundee.

The design is by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who has worked on schemes across the world and is a five-times Chelsea Flower Show gold-winner.

It will feature stepped earthworks and a space for local events, along with a separate small garden to be used as an outside room for patients and families.

Local people and NHS Tayside have helped fund the landscaping.

The building will be swathed with ivy and grasses. Elsewhere there will be azaleas and rhododendrons, mixed in with native Scottish species and flowering trees.

The aim was to create a landscape which was visually exciting and also provided a publicly accessible amenity of lasting value
Arabella Lennox-Boyd
Landsape architect

The earthworks will be designed to screen car parking and the helicopter and ambulance access points.

New pathways with improved lighting should provide a better link to the buildings.

Ms Lennox-Boyd said: "Maggie Keswick Jencks [the founder of Maggie's Centres] was herself a wonderful landscape designer and her original blueprint for the centres placed great emphasis on the role of the landscape and outdoor space in creating a relaxing environment with the emphasis on stress reduction and healing.

"I am delighted to have been involved in such a moving and worthwhile project, combining excellence in design with the best of the human spirit.

"The aim was to create a landscape which was visually exciting and also provided a publicly accessible amenity of lasting value.

Dundee Maggie's Centre
Dundee's Maggie's Centre was designed by Frank Gehry

"Low maintenance was also an important priority."

The Maggie's Centre in Dundee provides information, psychological support, stress management and advice on issues such as nutrition and welfare benefits to those with cancer.

The building, which is based at Ninewells Hospital, was designed by famous architect Frank Gehry and was opened in 2003.

The financing of the landscaping was boosted by Douglas Mason, a keen gardener who left 50,000 for the project when he died of cancer in 2005.

His brother, Kenneth Mason, said: "Douglas felt wonderful outdoor spaces were phenomenally nurturing places for himself and other people with cancer to spend time away from the hospital.

"He valued the support he received from Maggie's Dundee but wanted to do more to ensure others with cancer had the chance to enjoy the outdoor surroundings as much as he had near the end of his life.

"He also wanted to make access between Maggie's and the hospital more direct and this landscape design will do that."

It is hoped that patients will be able to start using the garden by the summer.

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