Local mom and leukaemia survivors’ life transformed by garden makeover


A mom from Waltham Abbey has undergone a garden makeover that has transformed her life and the way in which she works thanks to the team at ITV Love your Garden and Forest Garden, the UK’s leading and most trusted manufacturer and distributor of quality wooden garden products.

Having survived lymphoblastic leukaemia without a much-needed stem cell transplant, award-winning author Venessa Taylor, spent much of lockdown writing her first book whilst also campaigning on the importance of bone marrow donations across all ethnic groups – most of which she did from her front room. When she was nominated by friends to receive a garden makeover from the team at ITV’s Love Your Garden, she knew that she wanted a space that not only supported her wellbeing but also gave her somewhere from which she could write and continue campaigning.

Forest Garden came to the rescue with a stylish Xtend Garden Room which Venessa heralded as ‘lifechanging”. She explains: “After being medically retired due to my illness, I’ve missed being able to leave the house to go to work each day so having that ability now has helped me to regain focus.

“My garden room is my special space. It’s part of the garden so I can open the doors and feel the sun on my face and listen to the birds or, I can choose to shut myself away in my warm and cosy cocoon. It’s a practical and stylish space and one that inspires me and encourages me to do well.

“I have become a keen gardener through this garden which inspires me and spurs me on each day. Already, I’m ahead of schedule on the sequel to my first book, Baller Boys, a book about children and how they can be the best versions of themselves through football, that was originally a passion project between myself and my son in law who we sadly lost recently to a rare health complication.”

Jenny Davis, Marketing Manager for Forest Garden said: “Our research shows that 1 in 3 women in the UK feel calm and reflective in the garden, so we were only too happy to support Venessa and the creation of a space that which had this at its heart. The stylish Xtend Garden room and Grey Painted Contemporary Double Slatted Fence Panels which were also supplied have helped to create a modern but contemplative space from which to work and to relax and are delighted to hear that she is writing and continuing campaigning as a result.”

To watch again, visit https://www.itv.com/hub/love-your-garden/2a1173.

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