The Pankhurst Garden
Work on a therapeutic garden at the back of the Pankhurst Centre will commence this summer with expected completion in mid-September. The design and structure of the garden is based on Edwardian knot gardens. The restrictions and confinements women were living and fighting against at that time are reflected in the structures of box hedging. The hard structure of the planting pockets will be softened by planting in purple, white and green – the colours adopted by the Suffragettes. The plant varieties will be selected to depict female names to remember the army of women who fought so hard for equality.
The Suffragettes thought outside the box to finally be granted their right to the vote and this opened up new paths and avenues for the modern woman, but of course, their right for equality was fraught with hardship, personal sacrifices and the loss of life. This toil of blood, sweat and tears will be reflected in red planting outside the parlour window, such as Blood Grass, Bleeding Heart and Geum Flames of Passion, which will surround a Suffragette statue.
Accessible gravel paths will circulate the space, reflecting the paths and avenues that were opened up as a result of women being granted the vote. An elevated patio area with herringbone brick pattern will form a central platform within the garden, allowing for recitals and performances during the spring/summer months. There will also be an archway giving a sense of enclosure and seating areas across the space to allow visitors to sit quietly and reflect or interact with each other.
The patio area next to the house will contain a selection of herbs and medicinal plants, Gingko tree also known as the remembrance tree, lavender for its calming properties, rosemary to aid concentration and borage for courage. Suffragette quotes will be dotted throughout the garden. The quotes are just as applicable today as they were 100 years ago – intended to empower and uplift, and let visitors know that they are not alone.
The Pankhurst Garden has been made possible thanks to 524 Crowdfunder supporters. Special thanks to Adactus Housing, Bruntwood, Cargill Plc., Great Places Housing Association, Mosscare St. Vincents, One Manchester, UNISON Manchester Branch, Dr Clare Ronalds and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group.