Gardens for hospice and elderly add to RHS health focus at Chelsea

A garden that can house a hospice patient's bed, and a garden to help elderly people connect with others are the latest additions to the lineup of health-themed gardens at Chelsea this year.

Artist's impression of The Garden Bed for Chelsea. Image: Supplied
Artist's impression of The Garden Bed for Chelsea. Image: Supplied

'The Garden Bed', designed by Alison Doxey and Stephen Welch, is inspired by a garden Welch designed for Les Bourgs Hospice in Guernsey.

At that site, patients' beds can be wheeled out into the garden; the Chelsea garden will give visitors a similar opportunity to view the garden from a patient's perspective. The garden has a domestic feel, using familiar herbaceous perennials, grasses and bulbs in a soft colour palette.

Doxey - a florist by trade - will construct more than 15m of intricately interwoven plant material, replicating the quilt covering the hospice bed. A ceramic water feature mirrors the floral displays located inside the hospice. The garden will be built by Frosts Landscapes.

Another new Fresh garden, Urban Connections, will focus on the issue of elderly isolation. Designed by Lee Bestall and Paul Robinson and sponsored by the Victoria Business Improvement District, the garden will show how high quality public spaces can bring communities and generations together.

These join a growing lineup of health-focused gardens at Chelsea, including Jekka McVicar's 'A Modern Apothecary' and Chris Beardshaw's collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital

Further details of Ann-Marie Powell's Greening Grey Britain garden have also been released. It will include a wide range of plants from cacti and sempervirens through to fruit and vegetables, wildflowers and herbs, along with a bug house, a kitchen garden, compost bin, hanging baskets, houseplants and seedlings.

Powell's garden is full of take-home ideas and is intended to show how "inclusive" gardening is, according to show manager Tom Harfleet.

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