The Garden Bed – artisan garden providing sanctuary


The importance of providing a restful sanctuary for patients in hospice care is the theme of The Garden Bed, designed by Alison Doxey and Stephen Welch, in the Artisan Category at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

As the designers point out, this is not something we like to contemplate, but it is a necessity and fact of life that many of us will face the prospect of loved ones needing care. A restful sanctuary where patients, their families and friends can find peace and calm is an essential part of therapy, having holistic and emotional benefits.

The Garden Bed is a partnership with Asda, will provide a view of the garden from the patient’s perspective, from within the hospice. Intricately crafted interwoven plant material, which can be readily harvested from the garden, is utilized to replicate the hospice bed which will be located within the garden.

A ceramic water feature acts as a representation of living floral displays which are located on the bedside table, within the hospice bedroom. The floral displays use materials cut from the garden.

The garden is a collaboration of the joint skills of two lifelong friends, a florist and a landscape architect, who have created a very special exhibit ahead of their 50th birthdays within a week of each other in July 2016.

Key trees include Birch, Cherry and Magnolia as well as Japanese Acer and Contorted Hazel. Plants which are commonly found in domestic gardens will be used to reinforce the safe and homely environment.

The garden illustrates just how easily a bed can be moved into an accessible space and highlights the many benefits that beautiful spaces can make to a lifetime. The design also embodies the theme of the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show – Health, Happiness and Horticulture.

For the designers, Alison and Stephen, the project is perfect to best use their complementary skills and experience and we wish them every success.