Cavernoma Society garden RHS Chelsea

Show visitors to the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be delighted to see designer Taina Suonio back at Chelsea, this time with designer Anne Hamilton, with their ‘The Cavernoma On My Mind Garden’ for the Cavernoma Society.

The garden contains named areas which describe the feelings of cavernoma patients, such as ‘fragility of life’, ‘unconditional love’ and ‘fresh start’. The plants in these named areas have been chosen for the symbolism describing the cavernoma, a cluster of abnormal blood vessels found in the brain and spinal cord.

Nature is a healer for many with the condition who go through various periods of hardship with varying degrees of severity and even a single plant can have an impact on wellbeing.

Glass steps ascend to a viewing platform to symbolise hope for progress and optimism required for living with the condition. The platform represents security and clarity of vision into the future. The water feature, on the one hand denotes the tears of anxiety and pain shed by patients and on the other, the calming effect of letting your emotions out.

Planting includes Acer griseum, commonly known as blood-bark maple to represent the thin blood vessels that make up cavernomas and its peeling bark symbolising the fragility of life.

Dark flowers such as Rosa ‘Nuits de Young’ and Aconitum napellus denote despair while the beauty of peonies in the garden awakens positive feelings – the root extract of peonies also has medicinal qualities against epilepsy and seizures. The logo of sponsor, The Cavernoma Society is the raspberry and so the fruit will appear on the garden.

Credits: Garden design top of page: ©Taina Suonio/Anne Hamilton.