The Perennial Sanctuary Garden at this summer’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will raise awareness of the charity dedicated to supporting everyone in the horticulture industry.
Designed by Tom Massey, who won an RHS Gold Medal and ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ at Hampton Court last year with his first ever show garden, it is part of a new category at the show – ‘Gardens for a Changing World’.
The design takes a spiral form, with a changing colour palette of plants to symbolically represent the journey a Perennial client makes as they overcome difficulty with Perennial’s help. People turn to Perennial for financial and emotional help when they are faced by challenges such as illness, injury, poverty, debt and old age and many describe the help Perennial offers simply as a ‘lifeline’.
Perennial marketing and development director Anita Bates commented: “Tom’s design for the garden represents the difference Perennial makes to thousands of horticulturists each year, helping them move through tough times to safety. We are excited to be working with a great team of partners from across the industry to bring this garden together and showcase the best in British horticulture.”
The spiral shape of the garden is planted with a rich mix of plants. At its outer edge the vibrant red colours represent the inner chaos that can come from being at crisis point. As the visitor takes the journey into the garden following a winding gravel path, sounds from outside of the garden fade. The planting becomes taller and more immersive and the colour scheme moves through stimulating yellows and oranges to more restful purples, blues and finally pure green. Towards the centre of the design the planting is simplified, leading to a calm sanctuary at the centre of the garden with bespoke York stone benches and a large reflective water bowl. Here the planting changes to a single species of towering bamboo that screens the outside world, creating a safe haven and place for peaceful reflection hidden from view.
Garden designer Tom Massey explained: “The garden uses a beautiful array of plants to celebrate the powerful effect plants can have on wellbeing. Each swathe of colour represents a different emotion or state of mind and each shows how Perennial’s practical help and advice can be the difference between sink and swim for those who have nowhere else to turn. It is a reminder that Perennial is here to provide a safety net for all of us in the industry if ever we need it.”