Construction is underway on a garden aiming to provide a spot of calm for school students while paying tribute to an inspirational islander – but fundraising is continuing with a silent auction of local artists’ work.
The green space at JCG in memory of Harry Zambon was given approval from the Planning Department last month.
Before he passed away last year, the 25-year-old Victoria College alumnus helped scores of islanders through stroke and cancer recovery, while raising thousands for charity – despite having suffered two brain haemorrhages and a stroke himself.
Aiming to pay tribute to Harry’s ethos of finding balance amid the stresses of life, his mother, Sharon Shepherd, started fundraising to create a garden at JCG, where Harry's sister went to school and Harry took one of his AS Levels, and raised more than £10,000.
Construction has now begun at the site, and the garden is already starting to take shape.
Video: Harry's garden is beginning to take shape.
Sharing the progress so far, she told Express: “I’m really excited now because the whole landscaping is nearly complete and we can really see the bones of the garden coming on and our positioning where the trees will be.
“We’ve got these five multi-stemmed birch trees that are going to be put in… and top soil and things have got to come to the site and then all the planting.
"It’s going to be so beautiful when it’s finished.”
Pictured: Sharon has been visiting the garden each day to check on progress, and delivering cakes to those on site.
Explaining that the aim of the garden is to provide a space of tranquillity, she said that the flowers and plants used would not be “striking colours, like reds and yellows”, but “softer” tones.
“We’ve got a lot of green and white and some blues and mauvey blues in it as well, calming colours, but a lot of green because I really want this to be a peaceful place. I want [the students] to just absorb the environment.”
Sharon noted that the path to the site will be “resin bonded like you get at the Zoo”, which will mean that “if we have anybody in wheelchairs or has a disability then that student or staff or guest will not have any difficulty going to any of the areas in the garden.”
“It’s truly for everyone,” she added.
Pictured: Bespoke curved benches will be installed at the garden.
Students will be able to sit on the grass or lower part of the wall, as well as on bespoke curved benches due to be installed along the back.
With the stresses of covid-19 and lockdown playing on students’ minds, Sharon says this has strengthened her resolve to get the work finished by the end of August so that students can enjoy it at the start of the new term.
To that end, she’s been visiting the site every day to work on progress, and generously supplying workers with cakes.
Pictured: The plants used will be a mix of blues, greens and mauves to create a tranquil atmosphere.
Although completion is now in sight, fundraising is continuing with a silent virtual art auction of works by five local artists – each connected in their own way to Harry – being held until Thursday 13 August.
The works are:
Anyone wanting to place a bid should email firstname.lastname@example.org or send Sharon Shepherd a private message on Facebook.
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