BBC2's Gardener's World presenter Arit Anderson mucked in with her gardening skills in the creation of a “Friends Forever” garden built for pupils with life-limiting health conditions and visual impairments.

Ms Anderson also officially opened the garden designed by award-winning landscape architect Patrick Collins, whose daughter Isabel attended the special needs school.

The garden will give children a quiet space where they can think of friends who have left to go to college or who have passed away.

Ms Anderson said: “This is a garden full of love.

“When I heard Patrick needed volunteers I wanted to help. Knowing their daughter Izzy would be leaving Linden Lodge meant that this would have special meaning to them and be a wonderful legacy for other children to share and leave memories.

“It was turned around so quickly, it’s a fantastic testament to everyone involved and to what can be achieved on both limited budget and time.”

The garden features plants from Mr Collins’s Silk Road Garden, which was the biggest show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Mr Collins, who lives in Raynes Park, said: “My daughter Isabel attended Linden Lodge for six years so when she left in July for a resident college it was an emotional moment for our family and for the close friends she was leaving behind.

“We worked with the school to develop an unused area of their woodland walk. Now children can come here and remember friends who have moved on.

Arit, a friend of Patrick’s cut the ribbon on the garden with his daughter Lillie.

Deborah Rix, head teacher said: “The garden is so beautiful. It has become a really important area for the children to visit and think about friendship.”