BROMSGROVE garden centre is supporting a charity gardening book that was created in lockdown.

‘My Real Garden’ features gardening tips and hacks as well as how it can act as mental health therapy from over 100 gardeners from around the world.

Darren Kench, from Halesowen, who features in the ‘Tropical Retreats’ chapter said: “As a part-time garden design student, I would often turn to Instagram for inspiration or to seek advice, by connecting with fellow gardeners and garden designers who were also out on a limb, and feeling shut off, like me. Here, I found @myrealgarden - an amazing community of gardeners who helped each other through lockdown, led by the wonderful TV gardening presenter and RHS Chelsea award-winner Ann-Marie Powell."

Bromsgrove Advertiser: 'My Real Garden' pages. 'My Real Garden' pages.

“The results of all our efforts have now been compiled into in a unique community gardening book which is published to coincide with the lockdown anniversary.”

Last year, Darren grew seedlings which he left around a Halesowen park for people to find and take home, sharing the progress of its growth on social media.

He added: “Just before the country went into lockdown, last March, I presented with mild symptoms of coronavirus and was required to self-isolate, before returning to work as a graphic designer. Initially, it was an incredibly stressful time, but whenever I felt like things were affecting my mental health, I sought solace in my garden and the Instagram community who nurtured me.

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Darren Kench. Darren Kench.

“It was during this time that I decided to launch the Plant a Thought project, growing and distributing free sunflowers, so that others could also experience a little of the joy I found in my own garden.”

Some of the proceeds form the book will be donated to Greenfingers charity, which creates gardens for children’s hospices.