April 13, 2009

LUPUS UK Member Creates Award-Winning Garden

Good morning everyone.

Hope you had a nice weekend. I was in Florida visiting family, and just returned to DC last evening. I came across this really great article, from our friends across the pond in the UK. And since I know most of us are eagerly awaiting spring's arrival, I thought it made sense to share this.

So enjoy!

LUPUS UK Member Creates Award-Winning Garden

As you may know, gardening is an important national pastime in Britain, where LUPUS UK has 29 regional groups in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. So it’s no small feat that Nicki Lewis Smith, garden designer & horticulturalist from Shropshire, has received not one, but two awards for her Show Gardens, dedicated to raising awareness of lupus.

Nicki had previously been awarded the “Best Newcomer” prize for the Synchronicity Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show 2007, and her success continued when she took the Silver Award at the 2008 Shrewsbury Flower Show for The Lupus Garden.

On the first day of The Shrewsbury Flower Show the sun shone. It filtered through the trees, casting a dappled shade over The Lupus Garden, which was a welcoming sight. Several people commented on how they would love to sit beneath the willow arbour, don the big straw hat and relax. Even rain on the Sunday didn’t dampen people’s curiosity about lupus. The LUPUS UK leaflets flew out and Nicki, who designed, built and funded the garden, spoke to plenty of people who had never heard of the condition, as well as fellow lupus patients.

“As regards raising awareness,” said Nicki, “it was a huge success.” And the garden? “It’s been hard work, but well worth it. It’s quite sad that it will all be gone -- I’d love to transport it to somewhere quiet and have it all to myself for a bit of relaxation.”

Congratulations, Nicki and thanks from LUPUS UK for the wonderful awareness opportunity.

More photographs of “The Lupus Garden” can be seen on Nicki’s website, http://www.nickilewissmith.com/.

(Adapted with permission from News & Views, the official magazine published by LUPUS UK.)

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