GOLD MEDAL WINNING MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT LEGACY GARDEN AT RHS HAMPTON COURT, 2015

It was an honour to be asked by Macmillan Cancer Support to design their legacy show garden for the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2015. The goal was to encourage visitors to consider leaving a gift in their will to help Macmillan ensure that no-one faces cancer alone. I had lost my mother-in-law to cancer just the year before, so it was a message very close to my heart.

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The Macmillan Legacy show garden was inspired by life’s meandering journey and the need we all have in times of turmoil to find solace, calm and inspiration.

Conceived as a contemporary edge of woodland scene, a series of paving paths weave through the space, reaching out beyond the confines of the garden to invite people in. Deliberately varying paving widths adds texture underfoot, whilst a ribbon of water connects two pools reflected the garden and the sky. Various crossing point over the water via stepping stones focuses the mind, signifying the obstacles in life that one has no choice but to overcome.

A rounded, curving structure blends into the garden space, the exterior clothed with woodland plants indicating a place of sanctuary. Rendered internally in white, the colour and curves ensure there is little visual distraction, so encouraging one to look back through the entrance framing the garden view. Now slightly elevated above the scene, you are better placed to contemplate your journey through the garden, and so your life.

A roof aperture allows a birch to reach skyward representing life after one has been touched by cancer, and Macmillan’s life affirming work. Plants have been chosen to represent the rich diversity of life, whilst supporting wildlife.

The presence of Macmillan Cancer Support is always at the heart of the garden. The planting palette is green with highlights of white to reflect Macmillan’s brand colours, whilst the charity’s secondary colours – rusty orange and apricot – are used to enliven the scene.

We were delighted to be awarded an RHS Gold medal for the Macmillan Cancer Support Legacy garden, the first we have received for a show garden at RHS Hampton Court.

The Telegraph said of the garden “The garden is restful, contemplative and inspires visitors to consider both their life’s legacy and what they have achieved”