Can a garden reflect distress whilst still giving hope?
Our garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show was a chance to explore what constitutes the idea of a beautiful garden? Samaritans Listening Garden was a space that provided sanctuary for difficult conversations highlighting the wonderful work Samaritans does in supporting people who are struggling to cope. Using only reclaimed concrete and timber we designed a garden that initially felt quite imposing, with hanging panels of concrete bestowed with 24crt gold leaf that hovered above a planting matrix of Imperata, Euphorbia and Aralia. Moving through the garden visitors dropped down to a sunken seating area beneath the most majestic overhanging Elm tree. It was really important to us that the garden authentically represented the feelings of distress that many Samaritans callers express and the conversations we had at the show with visitors and volunteers alike affirmed this again and again.