Macmillan RHS Chatsworth garden

Macmillan Cancer Support will be at the 2018 RHS Chatsworth Flower Show with a bespoke garden inspired by the importance of planting legacies for the future.

The Macmillan RHS Chatsworth Legacy Garden, designed by Michael Coley, centres around a large oak tree which is surrounded by saplings – echoing the theme of growth and renewal.

Michael explains that Oak trees to him represent wisdom, strength and longevity, something constant that people can return to: “The theme of leaving a legacy is communicated through the surrounding saplings and smaller seedlings which cover the majority of the garden. The idea is to give the impression that the central tree has spread its seeds to create the beautiful garden around it,” he said.

The design also incorporates large blocks of Derbyshire fossil limestone, which culminate in a fragmented central area. The stone will come from a quarry within the Chatsworth Estate and was chosen to show the longevity of legacies with their irregular formation representing how disorientating living with cancer can be.

The garden also features a large mirror, designed to give visitors the chance to look at their reflection and consider what their legacy would be.

Ruthie Coverdale, Macmillan Cancer Support Senior Legacy Promotions Manager said: “Last year over £84 million was gifted to Macmillan in wills. This was instrumental in helping us to provide practical, emotional, and personal support for people affected by cancer. We hope that this beautiful garden inspires visitors to think about leaving a legacy in their will so that we can continue to support the 2.5 million people in the UK who are living with cancer.”

Michael (pictured right) is based in South-East London and studied at the London College of Garden Design under some of the top names in the industry. He loves to create beautiful spaces for people to enjoy and we feel sure that his garden for RHS Chatsworth will not only be thought provoking but also beautiful.

Materials for the Macmillan Cancer Support Legacy Garden are being donated by Travis Perkins, the UK’s largest builders’ merchants.

For more information on how you can leave a legacy for Macmillan Cancer Support visit

Photographs ©Macmillan Cancer Support & Michael Coley.