Dogs Trust sniffs its way into RHS Hampton Court


A secret garden for dogs will be unveiled at this year’s RHS Hampton Court (5th to 10th July 2016) by the Dogs Trust.

The first ever garden designed especially with dogs in mind at RHS Hampton Court, it celebrates the charity’s 125th year and the Dogs Trust’s commitment to finding loving homes for thousands of abandoned dogs every year.

The garden is inspired by the charity’s sensory space at its West London rehoming centre, which provides exciting areas to forage, exercise and explore and aims to enrich the lives of dogs in the charity’s care while they await new homes.

side-paul-Designed by acclaimed designer, Paul Hervey-Brooks (pictured left) and entitled ‘A Dog’s Life’, the garden will be a space for both people and dogs to enjoy together with dog friendly features woven into the fabric of the garden without dominating the design.

The design has diverse planting to reflect the range of dogs you could meet at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre and will include hybrid plants as a reference to the various dog breeds.

The design will also include a snug pavilion located at the rear of the garden in which dogs and their human guests can survey the landscape, two water features, including a large still rill representing the abandonment faced by stray dogs and another that provides running water for dogs to enjoy and tunnels woven into the herbaceous borders for dogs to explore.

An area for dogs to enjoy digging and trees that provide shelter and places to forage will also feature. Sculptures will also illustrate the playful character of dogs.

CEO of the Dogs Trust, Adrian Burder, is thrilled to be at Hampton Court this year: “Paul’s design works as a space that appeals to both human and canine senses and one that dogs and people can enjoy harmoniously,” he says. “From secret sniffer tracks subtly woven into rich herbaceous planting to the digging area and peaceful pavilion retreat, dogs of all shapes and sizes have been considered, which echoes the approach of every Dogs Trust rehoming centre,” he continued.

In the early 1900s, Dogs Trust, or the National Canine Defence League as it was known then, asked its members to organize a series of private shelters for stray dogs. These would usually be set up in members’ gardens and included one in Hampton itself. Today, the Dogs Trust runs 21 rehoming centres caring for the needs of all dog breeds.

The show garden sounds like a brilliant way to demonstrate to dog owners how they can have a garden for both their pets and the family while at the same time celebrating this special anniversary of the Dogs Trust.


Photo credits: Garden design ©Dogs Trust, Photograph of Paul Hervey-Brookes ©Reckless Gardener.