Mindfulness Garden – RHS Chatsworth

BRIEF

Show garden designed for the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 2019. The ‘Reflective Mind’ garden, which won a Silver-Gilt RHS medal, was designed for the gardening for health charity Thrive. The garden was designed for a couple who may use the space individually or together as a source of inspiration and as a peaceful sanctuary to pause, sit and meditate. They want beautiful planting and for the garden to be both restorative and thought provoking – so that they come away feeling renewed and inspired.

Richard Rogers said, `With the increasing busyness and pressures of everyday life, the value of taking time out is so important. In this garden, the design and the planting will all invite the visitor to stop, pause and reflect.  ‘Spending time in nature has been shown to help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, while improving mood, and I’m hoping this garden will enable more people to appreciate these benefits and learn more about the great work that Thrive does.’

DESIGN SOLUTION

A focal point of the garden is a 1.8-metre high face sculptured from bronze created by Simon Gudgeon. Positioned against a background of trees and planting, it aims to evoke feelings of calm while reinforcing the link between nature and wellbeing. The statue is reflected in an infinity pool representing how mindfulness practice enables us to step back and observe our own thoughts and feelings. The view of the statue is deliberately obscured from some angles by 3 multi-stem Prunus Serrula trees, creating a feeling of seclusion and representing the way in which the filters of our own experiences and expectations do not always allow us to see reality clearly.