Mind’s garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower show is designed to be the kind of place where people can connect, be themselves and open up about difficult emotions. Its aim was to inspire and spark conversations about mental health, breaking down the stigma, which sadly still surrounds it. The charity hopes the garden will also inspire us all to connect with those around us and seek help, highlighting the value of peer support for our mental health.
A series of sculptural walls flow down through the garden like a handful of petals tossed onto the ground. Rendered in clay and highly textural they are intended to be highly tactile and of the earth.
The garden is largely set amongst open woodland, with generous areas of meadow planting at the woodland edge, and marginals to enclose the pool. It is intended to be dramatic yet tranquil and beautiful.
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Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
The garden has been repurposed at Mind in Furness, Cumbria, a Mind centre that provides mental health support, including eco-therapy, for residents of Barrow in Furness and the surrounding area. Eco-therapy has been proven to improve mental health, boost self esteem, help people with mental health problems return to work, improve physical health and reduce social isolation. Plants from the show garden have also been donated to a further 11 Mind centres across England.
"I chose to design this garden for Mind because time in nature can transform how you feel. I want people to feel embraced by the garden. I want people to feel protected when they are in it."
Andy Sturgeon, Designer
Head to the link below to find out more about the garden and the people involved in its creation and legacy.