'Mind Trap' RHS Chelsea 2017 wins GOLD

MIND TRAP Fresh Garden for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, Site FR82 This garden is a physical manifestation of my personal experience of suffering from and living with depression. It's purpose is to help those that suffer in similar ways to be assured that they are not alone in their own personal struggles. It also endeavours to explain to others that have no personal experience of suffering what it may feel like, by way of a physical tangible living garden with the use of symbolism and creating an atmosphere. https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Gardens/2017/mind-trap A huge thank you to everyone involved. Without you, the garden would have remained an idea on paper.


The size of this garden is fairly typical of most gardens in housing developments.  The existing garden consisted of a small patio which didn't receive any evening sun, some planting and a large conifer hedge. The brief from the client was to give more interest in the garden, reduce the size of the lawn, put the patio where it would be in the evening sun and allow space for growing vegetables in the future. 

The client wanted a much more modern feel without the garden feeling too clinical. They didnt want too many straight lines, but at the same time wanted to introduce curves without the garden becoming a series of circles.  When I suggested using large block and render walls initially they were unconvinced that they would actually make the garden feel larger than it felt before the construction took place. 

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The conifer hedges were planted 20 years ago in front of a wall and fences. This only serves to make your garden smaller, as well as taking away quite a lot of light even though they aren't that tall.

The existing hedges have died at the bottom due mainly to misguided trimming. The patio area opposite the planting area didn't get any evening sun.

An overall view of the new garden showing the repositioned patio, reshaped lawn and blue feature wall.

The garden was raised to reduce the number of steps which, as can be seen here, have been designed to reflect the curves of the lawn.

The blue feature wall is the primary focal point from the house. Not only does it distract the eye from the house behind, but with the addition of the water blade and the bench helps give the patio a relaxed private feel.

The brick path serves as both an access to the utility space behind the large curved wall, as well as drawing the eye around the garden and distracting from the boundaries.

The beauty of walls is that they can be repainted at any time to freshen the garden up with minimal cost.

The lawn flows down towards the curved wall and planting bed at the end of the garden. The plants in this bed will benefit from the radiant heat given out by the wall which is heated by the sun during the day.