The story behind Anya Hindmarch’s beautiful Ever After garden in Grosvenor Square

 (ModusBPCM)
(ModusBPCM)

If you’re walking through Mayfair this month, it’s worth taking a turn around Grosvenor Square, which has been filled to the brim with thousands of glowing white roses.

The installation, developed by accessories designer Anya Hindmarch and fashion writer Camilla Morton, is back in Grosvenor Square for the third year and available to the public from 3pm to 9pm until December 20, entirely for free.

But it’s more than just your average flowershow: the Ever After garden was designed in memory of those who have lost their lives to cancer, inspired by Hindmarch and Morton’s own close friend, Michael Howells.

Michael Howells was a legendary production designer and creative director who worked on Nanny McPhee (2005), Ever After and ITV’s Victoria. In his obituary for Vogue, costume designer Sandy Powell said: “There are not enough adjectives to describe Michael.”

No adjectives, then but what about roses? After Michael’s death, Hindmarch and Morton got to thinking about how best to pay tribute to their beloved friend, and to everyone else who has lost the battle against a disease that has claimed so many.

Anya Hindmarch with close friend Michael Howells, who inspired the name for the garden (WireImage)
Anya Hindmarch with close friend Michael Howells, who inspired the name for the garden (WireImage)

“The Ever After Garden was born out of the need to pay tribute to loved ones that we have lost,” Hindmarch told the Evening Standard. “It’s named after the film for which [Howells] designed the sets.”

The garden is for everyone, though. Visitors are able to dedicate one of the 20,000 roses on show to a loved one that is no longer with them.

 (ModusBPCM)
(ModusBPCM)

“We hope this garden will be personal to everyone,” Hindmarch explains. “For me, it is also in memory of my dear Aunt Elizabeth Hindmarch. My wish is for this to be a place to reflect at in amongst all the festive cheer, and in doing so raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.”

The Royal Marsden Charity exists solely to support The Royal Marsden, a world-leading cancer centre based in Kensington and Chelsea.

Claudia Winkleman opened the Ever After garden yesterday evening alongside Hindmarch and Morton (on left) (ModusBPCM)
Claudia Winkleman opened the Ever After garden yesterday evening alongside Hindmarch and Morton (on left) (ModusBPCM)

Camilla Morton, who is known for her bestselling book How To Walk In High Heels as well as her extensive fashion journalism credits, shared why the Ever After garden is more important in these months than ever: “It’s beautiful way to remember everyone at the time of year when we all want to be together [...] I wanted a way to remember Michael, someone I consider unforgettable, and realised many people miss someone special so this is something we can share.

“I’m so proud of how its blossomed into such a special community. It is a privilege to see the dedications grow. Every rose seems more alight when a memory or message is attached.”

You can visit the Ever After garden in Grosvenor Square, W1K 6LD, from today until December 20, 2022.