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RHS Tatton Gold Medal 2014

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Inspired by a forest setting, 'Maggie’s Forest Garden' provides a productive and sustainable environment that creates a feeling of wellbeing and a connection to nature. The garden was designed to stand alone as a show garden and also to work within the scheme at the Maggie’s Centre, Clatterbridge Hospital, which is located on the edge of the site, adjacent to fields and hedgerows. The wooden planters are representative of the current fifteen Maggie’s Centres, whilst the swings and water bring calm and movement within the design.

The combination of planting and varying heights of wooden planters evokes the structure and layering system of a forest garden. Within the seven layers, the positioning of species depends on certain variables, including their needs for shelter, light, moisture, companion planting, mineral requirements, and pollination. These layers within the planting scheme consist of canopy, small tree, shrub, herbaceous perennials, ground cover, climbers, and root zone, all of which were planted in a natural manner, evocative of forest garden style planting. Many of the plants used, compliment human wellbeing and can be used as crops or for medicinal use, whilst also being mutually beneficial within the forest environment.

This was an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of the important work of Maggie’s growing network of centres, built beside NHS hospitals, providing free support to anyone with cancer, together with their family and friends. This support is given in a friendly, calming and welcoming space to those whose lives have been turned upside down by their diagnosis.

We were privileged to be awarded an RHS Gold Medal and also Best Show Garden.

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