A NEW garden to help with the recovery of patients has been officially unveiled.

Durham Mayor Councillor John Robinson was on hand to officially name the Together Garden at Lanchester Road Hospital in Durham.

Cllr Robinson marked the occasion by cutting a ribbon with garden shears.

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Guests were able to view the garden and taste a variety of snacks cooked using the different produce.

Activities on the day included painting plant pots and planting seeds. Vegetable boxes filled with garden produce were available to take away for a small donation.

The new garden started life 14 months ago, as a bare piece of land and has been transformed into a haven for people with learning disabilities at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

Karen Bray, deputy charge nurse or the hospital's Talbot unit, said:"Clients have developed new skills and learnt about growing vegetables by planting seeds, tending the garden on a daily basis and harvesting their produce.

"This in turn has a positive impact on both their physical and mental wellbeing."

The garden not only includes potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and flower pots, it is also home to Mr Fuffles, a guinea pig, Princess the rabbit and six chickens

Trust charitable funds also pay for a greenhouse to nurture seedlings.

Cllr Robinson said: "We’re absolutely thrilled to hear that clients gain a lot of peace, comfort and benefit here in the Together Garden.”