Oakham CE Primary School opens garden in memory of Kelly Bulmer

At the opening of the Kelly Bulmer Sensory Garden at Oakham CE Primary School are from left; Kelly's parents Keith and Pat Bulmer with headteacher Joan Gibson and president of the Rotary Club of Rutland Malcolm Mann
At the opening of the Kelly Bulmer Sensory Garden at Oakham CE Primary School are from left; Kelly's parents Keith and Pat Bulmer with headteacher Joan Gibson and president of the Rotary Club of Rutland Malcolm Mann

A GARDEN based on a design by a young woman who died in a car crash has been opened in her memory.

The Kelly Bulmer Sensory Garden opened at Oakham CE Primary School. Kelly, who died aged 17 in a car accident in August, 2010, attended the school before joining Catmose College.

Kelly designed a garden while she was in Year 5 at the primary school and a garden has now been created in her memory is based on her design.

Kelly’s mother Pat, who works at the school as a teaching assistant, and father Keith were also at the opening.

Mrs Bulmer said: “I think it is just lovely that there is a permanent memorial of Kelly. She loved being at the school and part of her is still here.

“It makes it all the more special that it’s Kelly’s design and it is lovely how her drawings have been interpreted.”

Mrs Bulmer said it was it was only by good fortune that Kelly’s design survived a clearout of the school, before it was demolished and rebuilt.

She said: “Very few of the children remember Kelly but they remember the accident and they know I was Kelly’s mum so I think it will be a very special place for them.”

Mrs Bulmer had some input into the garden and specifically asked for purple flowers to be included as purple was her daughter’s favourite colour.

The garden has a quiet seating area with a water feature and is surrounded by flowers and a gravelled area. There are also vegetable beds for the children to plant and sculptures of birds hanging from the trees.

Mrs Bulmer said she was “overwhelmed” and “speechless” when she saw the completed garden.

Mr Bulmer added: “I haven’t seen it before and I don’t know what I was expecting but it is absolutely lovely. It was an emotional day.”

Headteacher Joan Gibson said Kelly had drawn a beautiful picture for the original sensory garden and it had been incorporated into the garden.

“But there is more than the shape of Kelly’s design here,” she said. “The garden is saying something about her, about how beautiful she was, her generosity and her kind spirit.

“It will help us to remember her and everyone we have lost. It is a very special place.”

The garden was opened by Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani, who read two poems in memory of Kelly.

The garden was funded by the Rotary Club of Rutland, after the club president Malcolm Mann, a friend of the Bulmer family, suggested contributing.

Mr Mann said: “It is a memorial to Kelly but it is also a place for the children to learn about growing plants and vegetables and it is something that is going to keep changing, which is nice to think of.”

The Oakham in Bloom committee also helped with planting and the garden was built during the summer holidays by Craig Piggot, whose wife Sarah is a teacher at the school. Palmers of Oakham also provided materials.

It will be maintained by the school’s gardening club and Mr and Mrs Bulmer also hope to add their own touch with flower-shaped seats, assisted by the parent teacher association.