Inaugural hospice garden design winner announced

The winner of the first Greenfingers and KLC School of Design hospice garden competition has been revealed - as former KLC student Rachel Parker Soden.

(l - r) Annie Guilfoyle, Rachel Parker Soden and Emma Hanford
(l - r) Annie Guilfoyle, Rachel Parker Soden and Emma Hanford

Parker Soden, who is based in Surrey, was awarded with a certificate at a ceremony hosted by KLC at Chelsea Harbour, after winning the competition to design a space for teenage hospice patients.

Her festival-themed ‘Halcyon Daze’ entry teenage garden won plaudits from the team of expert judges, including Greenfingers garden projects manager Emma Hanford and garden designers Ann-Marie Powell and Clare Matthews.

The competition was launched in the spring and open to alumni from the KLC diploma in garden design. The brief called on entrants to think about what would appeal to teenagers in an outside space, giving them a dedicated area to indulge in everyday teenage activities such as spending time with their friends and listening to music.

Hanford said: "We were delighted with the quality of the entries, particularly how much the candidates had considered the challenges of building a garden for hospice children and their families. Rachel’s design, which has a festival vibe, included so many elements that will appeal to teenagers including a den, tipi, fire pit and communal spaces where they can relax with friends and family."

Parker Soden said the competition was an amazing opportunity. "I feel incredibly privileged to have had my design selected as the winner. Being totally in awe of the work that Greenfingers does, I am ridiculously excited to be working with them to make the design concept for the teenage garden become a reality."

The winning design will go on to be incorporated in one of Greenfingers’ future children’s hospice gardens.

The competition is to become an annual event.

Director of garden design at KLC, Annie Guilfoyle, said: "Bringing together KLC and Greenfingers for this competition has provided our students with an exciting platform for their design ideas. 

"It offers them a fantastic opportunity to see their designs have a lasting and positive effect on the lives of children and young people in hospices who can really benefit from well-designed, stimulating outdoor spaces. 

"We look forward to the competition going from strength-to-strength and becoming an established feature for KLC students."

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