A couple from Huntingdonshire have created a heartfelt "Covid Garden" after they were inspired by loss during the pandemic.

Peter and Debbie Harwood, who hail from Nene Way in St Ives, began putting the garden together when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Debbie decided that Peter needed something to do to keep himself busy.

The pair were inspired to create the garden for many reasons. Debbie's mother was terminally ill during the pandemic, so the couple wanted to give her something to enjoy in her last year.

Peter and Debbie also wanted to create their own memorial for those who died from Covid-19, as well as to thank the NHS, carers, and other medical professionals who worked throughout the pandemic.

So, once Peter was put on furlough he rolled up his sleeves and got to work. It took him three weeks to turn a patch of overgrown grass into the lovely garden it is now.

Peter began tending to the garden while on furlough in the pandemic.Peter began tending to the garden while on furlough in the pandemic. (Image: Peter and Debbie Harwood)

We've now been out of lockdowns for three years, but Peter still tends to the garden nearly every day.

He was sadly diagnosed with cancer in December 2023 which required an operation, and he has since retired. Looking after the Covid Garden has kept him busy ever since.

The garden has caught the eye of locals in St Ives who have also played a part in creating it. Residents and children have painted rocks for the garden and the St Ives Rotary Club provided Peter and Debbie with plants.

Children have added painted stones and care bears, and many visit the garden to take a look at the fairy village. At Christmas time, people flock to see Peter and Debbie's Christmas area.

Locals have started contributing to the garden.Locals have started contributing to the garden. (Image: Peter and Debbie Harwood)

One St Ives couple bring their grandchildren to visit the garden, which they've affectionally dubbed their "magic garden".

All year round, Peter and Debbie plant as much as they can to bring colour and magic into the lives of St Ives residents, and remind people that light can grow from loss.

The couple plant as much colour as they possibly can.The couple plant as much colour as they possibly can. (Image: Peter and Debbie Harwood)

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