Chelsea Garden of Hope

banner-World-VisionJohn Warland, the garden designer behind the Queen’s Coronation Arch at Wndsor Castle, is working with international children’s charity World Vision, to design a Show Garden at the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden will highlight the plight of children struggling to survive in the world’s harshest places. John, who sponsors a child through the charity, was inspired by the many extreme places – such as Ebola-hit Sierra Leone – where World Vision works.

He will use waves of turf, rising to at least two meters, to create a stunning and thought-provoking, horticultural installation at the Show. Every floating wave of turf will represent an individual life with each undulation symbolizing how unpredictable life is, especially for children living in places where poverty and disease strike.


Downtown Abbey actress and ambassador for World Vision, Elizabeth McGovern with Jestina.

However, the garden will also symbolise ‘uplifting hope for uncertain times’ as John puts it as he includes large Pyrus chanticleer trees and densely planted orange tulips and springtime anemones. John explains that the ribbons of turf reflect the community and family links World Vision forges through their work.

One ribbon alone is relatively weak, but as a chain it takes on a whole new strength,” John says.  “The traumatic events of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone are a good example of how a fragmented society torn apart by disease and fear can be slowly woven into a strong and coherent community once more.

Downton Abbey actress and ambassador for World Vision, Elizabeth McGovern, (pictured above) will be among the celebrities visiting the show this year and is keen to see the garden:  “The garden is beautiful but at its heart is an important message that there are still too many children who are left vulnerable to violence, disease and disaster,” says Elizabeth. “Yet I’ve seen first-hand what a difference child sponsorship with World Vision can make to ensure these children live free from fear.”

Sponsor World Vision is an international children’s charity that works to improve the lives of the world’s poorest children by working closely with communities to tackle the root causes of poverty.

You can learn more about the charity by logging onto:

Picture credits: All graphics and pictures: ©World Vision, Elizabeth McGovern credit Alex Whittle.