'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.


"Give me a garden that fits the new extension, has space for the kids to play in and allows us to get away from it all for a while. Oh and can we have a decked area outside the new extension please?"

This was the basic brief we were given for this smaller garden in Whitehead.  It presented a number of challenges, mainly how to provide enough space for all the different uses. 

The children really wanted their trampoline and in order to accommodate their needs, but not let it dominate the garden, I put it in the ground.  The pit drains easily into the existing storm water system.  Once the trampoline isn't needed anymore, the sunken area can become a pond, place for the hot tub, or even recessed den for the older children. 

The curved rendered walls at either end of the garden provide a great sculptural quality, especially with the backdrop of the hedge and the new fences.  A water balde set within one of the walls provides movement and sound and when lit at night is a great focal point from the house.  The walls can be repainted to match the mood or colour fashion which gives the garden a continual fresh feel. 

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This is the overview of the garden showing the large elliptical decked area, sculptural lawns and walls with inset water balde.

The planting in the decked area helps to break up the view a little as well as providing greater interest from inside the house by bringing the garden closer to the living room.

From the decked area, the lawn sweeps up and around. The gap between the elliptical decked areas and the raised lawn allows for planting and lighting to be included.

Timber topped gabion benches provide a visual link with the decked area. The planting will soften and hide this granite flagged patio space from the house.

The upper curved decked area sits flush with the internal floor level and the oval shapes continue into the garden with the lawn area.

From a practical sense, the sawn textured granite provides a great mowing strip as well as reinforcing the strong shape of the lawn.

The water blade set within the curved sloped wall provides a point of interest from the fire pit patio area.

Here you can see the view across to the opposite curved wall which helps to discretely disguise the recessed trampoline.

The walls of the trampoline pit have been rendered and the floor concreted so that when the tramploine is no longer needed the recess can be transformed easily.

There is plenty of space for a table and chairs for the whole family or just a couple of loungers.