The Limbcare Garden

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018

I was delighted to be able to return to the Hampton Court Flower Show 2018 helping out with The Limbcare Garden throughout the week before the show opened. Limbcare is a national charity, founded by Ray Edwards MBE, the UK’s longest surviving quad amputee, providing practical and emotional support for amputees throughout the country.
The Limbcare Garden designed by Edward Mairis of Edward Mairis Landscaping and built by David Sutton of The Garden Concierge offers a positive message of hope and support to represent how Limbcare helps amputees through the process of rehabilitation. The garden achieved an RHS Silver medal.

My role once again involved unloading plants, laying them out throughout the garden with no finalised planting plans, planting up the site and finessing the plants before judging began. I also had involvement in suggesting some alternative plants to replace others that were not able to be supplied in time for the show and suggestions for adjusting the design of the planting in a couple of key areas.  Planting up gardens in this way without any formalised planting plans and then achieving medals when judged is not possible without a very good knowledge of how plants grow in nature and how they should sit together in a design.

Entry to the show garden is through a brook filled with calming water; a sturdy bridge offering safe passage across, surrounded by moisture loving plants. The central area of the garden contains a seat offering a place to talk and a pair of sculpted uplifting hands, symbolising how Limbcare can offer the amputee a helping hand on their new journey.

Planting has a woodland glade feel to it here and is in soft dreamy tones creating an air of tranquillity and relaxation with fine texture from plants  Deschampsia cespitosa and Stipa tenuissima. At the end of the path the visitor can enter into a secluded seating area through a scented archway to heighten the senses and spend time contemplating in amongst the tranquil planting. The design of this area is more formalised with a focal point of a shallow reflective pool. The colour scheme is simplistic with white being the predominant colour.

Many amputees who have already been helped by the charity Limbcare were involved in the build phase of the show garden.

The Limbcare Show Garden is designed to create awareness of Limbcare’s ambitious project to open a £3m Wellbeing Centre for amputees, enabling patients to transition from hospital to home and a breathing space away from a clinical environment, where the power of nature can heal. Edward’s garden design will form an important central courtyard for those who visit the Centre.