Breast Cancer Research inspires Chelsea Garden

Following her success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015, designer Ruth Willmott returns this year with a special garden created for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now.

The garden, called ‘Through the Microscope: The Breast Cancer Now Garden‘ is inspired by the work of Breast Cancer Now’s researchers.

Researchers working in the lab, in particular are looking through microscopes in their goal to stop breast cancer taking more lives. The garden is laid out with three vertical circles as microscope lenses, which are aligned to focus on a black microscope slide at the back of the garden and a circle of magnified healthy cells. The planting and cell shapes increase in size from front to back of the garden with similarities in form, shape and colour.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and one in eight women will face it in their lifetime. For award-winning designer Ruth, who lost her sister-in-law Angela to triple negative breast cancer in 2014, the garden has a significant message. She wants the garden to raise awareness of breast cancer and Breast Cancer Now’s vital research and what the charity is doing to stop this devastating disease taking more lives in the future.

The charity supports nearly 450 of the world’s brightest researchers at more than 20 locations across the UK and Ireland. Together, they are working to discover how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively. The UK still has one of the lowest breast cancer survival rates in Western Europe.

Ruth (pictured left) points out that gardening and nature have such power to heal and that creating a second garden for Breast Cancer Now has felt like a form of positive action since losing Angela: “But also, this experience has given me the opportunity to look deeper into the cause, and raise awareness of the incredible breast cancer research that is being undertaken across the UK,” says Ruth.

I hope this garden provides individuals and families effected by breast cancer with the hope that research will one day stop this heart-breaking disease taking the lives of those we love. If we all continue to stand together, supporting life-saving research, we will beat breast cancer once and for all.”

Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now said the charity are delighted that Ruth, with the support of her donors and sponsors, will exhibit a second garden for them at RHS Chelsea: “Breast cancer touches the lives of millions of people in the UK. Right now, more women are being diagnosed with the disease than ever before and nearly 1,000 women in the UK die from breast cancer every month,” said Delyth.

As a charity, we’re bringing together all those affected by breast cancer to improve the way we prevent, detect, treat and stop the disease. Ruth’s garden is a beautiful interpretation of some of the research our scientists are undertaking so we can move from a time when people fear breast cancer to a generation where everybody lives.”

‘Through the Microscope: The Breast Cancer Now Garden’ will exhibit in the Fresh Garden Category at RHS Chelsea Flower Show (23rd to 27th May 2017).


Photo credits: ©Ruth Willmott