Horatio's Garden, designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg from Harris Bugg Studio, has been awarded the coveted Best in Show title at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 – and it's the first garden on Chelsea’s famous main avenue that has mobility needs at its heart.
The wheelchair accessible garden has been designed for Horatio's Garden, the UK-based charity that nurtures wellbeing after spinal injury in vibrant sanctuaries in NHS spinal centres.
Wheelchair access is fundamental to the whole design process and it's the second time the design duo has won the coveted award for a garden at the world famous flower show.
The adaptive garden puts the priorities of all those with different mobility needs at its heart, and is the antithesis of a busy, clinical hospital setting with every element being informed by the experiences of patients with spinal injuries.
'The standard of the Show Gardens this year was extremely high,' said Marie-Louise Agius, RHS Chair of Show Garden Judges. 'What particularly stood out about The Horatio's Garden was how the design had been driven by the end user, to be experienced by spinal injury patients from a bed or wheelchair. The garden is uplifting, beautiful, and considered and for someone who has had a life altering spinal injury it will provide them with a wonderful sanctuary. The brief and the garden was delivered at an exceptional level.'
In Horatio's Garden, planting is layered to accommodate different ways of seeing, smooth, cement-free terrazzo paths are patient-friendly and environmentally-friendly with a 77 per cent reduced carbon footprint )compared to regular cement), and a garden room provides welcome relief from the busy ward.
Charlotte and Hugo from Harris Bugg Studio said: 'It's a really special garden for us because of the nature of the charity. Horatio's is a charity about gardens and how they help on journeys of healing and so it feels absolutely right that it should win Best in Show.'
The garden will be relocated to the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre in Sheffield in 2024 and it will be eight times the size of the Chelsea show garden.
• The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023, sponsored by the Newt in Somerset, runs from 23rd – 27th May. Visit rhs.org.uk for more information and sign up to become an RHS Member for reduced rate tickets to RHS flower shows.
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