RHS Chelsea 2017
This year I was lucky enough to be working at the RHS Chelsea Flower show, where I planted out a Gold Medal winning garden. ‘Mind Trap’ was a Fresh Garden sponsored by idverde Europe’s leading green services provider. The garden was conceived by Ian Price, from Northern Ireland and is a physical manifestation of his personal experience of suffering from, and living with, depression. Its purpose is to help those who suffer in similar ways to be assured that they are not alone. The garden endeavours to also explain to those that have no personal experience of suffering from depression what it may feel like, by way of a tangible living garden.
It was a huge challenge and a lot of hard work planting out someone else’s garden with plants you have not chosen. However it was more than an experience, working with Ian and his team and it was brilliant for everyone that a Gold Medal was awarded.
The dominant features of the ‘Mind Trap’ garden are four metal walls, which act as a foil for the planting and enclose the inner, central area of the garden. They represent a sense of security but also a feeling of imprisonment. From the exterior, the viewer has a glimpse of what it is to be trapped in the centre of the garden. The planting is deliberately different inside and out, with plants that thrive in sunny conditions, contrasting with some that prefer shade. The view outward shows the path to the life that could be enjoyed with help and hard work. The main water feature in the inner garden has a hidden surprise - you can walk on the water – do you have the courage to take that first step?
Amanda Waring met Ian Price at RHS Tatton Flower Show in 2014, where they both won Gold Medals; Amanda for her Maggie’s Forest Garden and Ian for his Elements Garden. Last November when Amanda saw on social media that Ian had been accepted to do a garden at Chelsea in 2017, she immediately got in touch and asked if she could help during the build, and get some experience of doing a garden at Chelsea.
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