Myeloma UK 25th anniversary Chelsea garden

When Chris Beardshaw returns to the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show he will be taking part in a double celebration. For Chris, his return to the Show will mark 25 years since first gaining an RHS Gold Medal. The double celebration is for the charity Myeloma UK, the garden he will be designing, who are also marking their 25th Anniversary.

The Myeloma UK – A Life Worth Living Garden, has been made possible thanks to a special donation by Project Giving Back, which has a personal connection and experience of the tireless work of the charity, who assist patients and raise awareness of myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, for which the charity’s ultimate goal is to find a cure.

The integrity of the design for Myeloma UK – A Life Worth Living Garden is rooted in Chris’ belief that such schemes are crafted from engagement with professionals and experts from the charity, extensive research, and outreach to those affected by the condition to gain personal accounts and experiences; collectively this work informs and directs Chris’ approach.

The garden is conceived as a metaphorical rather than literal response, with the overriding intention of creating a tranquil, reassuring, listening garden of delicate, facets that combine to create an environment that encourages the adjustment of the viewer’s perspective through contemplation and reflection.

Chris (pictured left) has designed a garden that celebrates the valuable and emotional health benefits presented by engaging with a garden of detail, calmness and beauty. The design features a dappled, woodland glade, offering a unique experience to the viewer, conjuring personal emotional responses and stimulation of the senses. Here, we will find transient scenes of temples, mercurial water, complex tree and shrub canopies and the enveloping qualities of Chris’ iconic, luxurious planting scheme.

Chris is a very popular designer at RHS Chelsea and is noted for his planting schemes. Speaking about the garden, Chris said: “We are extremely proud to have been asked by Project Giving Back to once again support their good causes and to create a special garden for Myeloma UK. Although the journey of a patient with a myeloma diagnosis is subtly referenced in the garden, it primarily celebrates the spiritual value of being immersed in a beautiful garden which encourages one to pause, take a breath and to engage with the gentle beauty of curated nature. The essence of the space is a reminder to celebrate the moment and be emboldened by the precious details of a garden.

Myeloma UK CEO Dr Sophie Castell said: “We cannot thank Project Giving Back enough for gifting us this thoughtfully crafted garden at RHS Chelsea Flower 2023 to mark our 25th anniversary. We are delighted to have Chris Beardshaw create this Garden for us which sensitively highlights the emotions of a myeloma patient as well as the myeloma community’s hopes and aspirations for the future. This Show Garden will not only help us promote the work of the charity and help fund our critical work but will support our fight to give anyone affected by myeloma access to the latest treatments and a chance at a life worth living.”

Following the Show, the garden will be repurposed and re-homed to benefit a number of different sites with thousands of herbaceous plants and shrubs sold via a specially arranged and advertised plant sale to raise funds for the Myeloma UK charity.

Chris has been awarded the BBC People’s Choice award on five occasion and is currently a regular panellist on Radio 3’s Gardeners’ Question Time. For Chris’ latest projects please visit:

RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 23rd to 27th May 2023.

Image credits: Garden design image ©Chris Beardshaw: Picture of Chris ©Reckless Gardener