Chelsea Flower Show: charity gardens | Voluntary Sector Network |

As this year’s show comes to an end we take a look at a selection of charity gardens including those of the RNIB, The Soldiers’ Charity, Streetscape and Gardening Leave

RNIB chelsea garden 1
The RNIB’s semi-walled garden takes inspiration from an Islamic paradise garden with structures and patterns evolved from constructivist architecture and the artwork of Ben Nicholson and Piet Mondrian.

Plants are chosen for their texture, fragrance and sound as much as their form and appearance. Loosely divided into four zones encompassing open woodland, damp shady woodland, temperate prairie border and an arid Mediterranean border, the naturalistic plant scheme encompasses a wide range of plants. Photograph: RNIB

RNIB garden 2
The RNIB’s garden features an ‘edible wall’ demonstrating an unusual and eye-catching way to grow fruit and vegetables. Ideal as a space-saving idea for small urban gardens, the wall includes a diverse range of vegetables such as chard, pak choi and baby beetroot, as well as alpine strawberries. The patented green wall technology incorporates an integral watering and drainage system using recycled water that ensures each panel retains the correct amount of moisture. Photograph: RNIB
Streetscape 2
Streetscape worked with the horticultural charity Perennial in building a brilliantly designed garden to showcase their work supporting those who work or have worked in horticulture, and their spouses/partners, when they face adversity or need. Photograph: Streetscape
Streetscape 3
Streetscape is an award-winning social enterprise and its garden won the Silver-Gilt medal at the show. Photograph: Streetscape
Streetscape garden
Streetscape’s Perennial Garden was designed by Jo Thompson for the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower show. Photograph: Streetscape
Honesty garden 1
Gardening Leave (a horticultural therapy charity helping Armed Forces veterans with mental health issues) has a permanent garden just over the wall from the RHS Chelsea show in the grounds of the Royal Hospital. This garden is there all year round – not just for Chelsea. Photograph: Gardening Leave
Gardening Leave 2
Gardening Leave does have a presence at the show – it is raising awareness with a contemporary botanical art exhibition portraying plants that link the battlefields of the first world war to the support Gardening Leave offers to present-day veterans.
Plants such as the iconic Victoria Cross Poppy and Flanders Poppy feature alongside the Tea plant flower – tea, or ‘a brew’, being a vital part of a soldier’s day – and Forget-me-not, a symbol for a lover to be remembered. Photograph: Gardening Leave
Stephen Fry, Caroline Quentin and Rowan Atkinson
Stephen Fry, Caroline Quentin and Rowan Atkinson pose with Joey the war horse after reading a collection of first world war poetry at the Soldiers’ Charity No Man’s Land garden. Photograph: The Soldiers’ Charity
Soldiers Garden
The Soldiers’ Charity No Man’s Land garden water feature is a water basin that represents the many deep circular mine craters that lie all over the Western Front and now have become peaceful havens for plants and wildlife. Photograph: The Soldiers’ Charity

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