DIY SOS to rebuild Chris Beardshaw's Chelsea garden

The BBC One series 'DIY SOS' will help to build and plant Chris Beardshaw's new garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital after it is deconstructed at the end of the Chelsea Flower Show.

Chris Beardshaw's Chelsea 2016 Show garden for GOSH. Image: Supplied
Chris Beardshaw's Chelsea 2016 Show garden for GOSH. Image: Supplied

The gold-medal winning Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street Hospital will be built on a disused second-floor rooftop, surrounded by ten-storey buildings. It will provide a green reflective space for parents and families of the children undergoing care at the hospital.

A key challenge for the rebuild is that the only way to bring in all the building and landscape materials to the central London site is via crane and it is important that the work is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible, so as not to impact on the day-to-day life-saving work of the hospital.

Being lifted by crane into the hospital garden will be more than 30 mature trees, topiary and hedging, around 1000 plants, over 30 tonnes of soil - using more than 70 crane lifts.

Given the complex nature of many of the conditions treated at GOSH, parents can often spend months on end at the hospital, whilst their children are in-patients. There is currently no green space for them to use and it can be difficult for families to find a quiet space when they need to make difficult decisions or need time to reflect.

The garden is being built on a rooftop surrounded by buildings and plants have been selected to suit its urban environment. A copse of trees, topiary, hedging and herbaceous plants will create a quiet retreat that thrives year-round in subdued sunlight, with multiple symbolic references throughout the garden to the relationships between children, parents and clinicians.

Morgan Stanley, a long standing supporter of Great Ormond Street Hospital, commissioned Beardshaw to design a garden that would work for the hospital as their contribution to this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

When his friend and DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles heard of the plan he decided to get the show's team involved. The GOSH episode is expected to air in Spring 2017.

Beardshaw said: "We are delighted that Nick and the DIY SOS team are joining us to transform the disused roof space at the hospital into somewhere special for parents and families.

"At the start of the design process we met with parents, children and clinicians and it was clear that there was a strong need for somewhere close to the wards, which can provide a calm and reflective space for parents to escape, even if it's just for a few moments. I am passionate about the need for green space in urban settings where it can provide a 'visual vitamin' to those who use it."

Tim Johnson, chief executive at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, said: "Moving the garden here is quite an undertaking so we're extremely grateful and excited to have this beautifully designed garden by Chris and the BBC's DIY SOS team helping out too."

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