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Gold for garden designer at RHS Chelsea

The Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s, designed by award-winning Garden Designer Darren Hawkes, has been awarded a Gold Medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Designed for cancer charity Maggie’s, whose centres have revolutionised the concept of therapeutic gardens, the garden is the first hidden garden ever to be built at the show. Enclosed within a 3m-high hornbeam hedge, it was designed as a private and reflective space for people living with cancer, away from the clinical environments of hospitals.

The garden was one of only four show gardens to win a Gold Medal at the 2017 show, giving Darren Hawkes his second Chelsea Gold Medal for what is his third Show Garden.

Darren said: “I’m so proud to have been involved with the pioneering work of Maggie’s and to have been given the opportunity to continue the extraordinary legacy of Maggie Keswick Jencks by creating an RHS Chelsea Show Garden in her name. To be awarded a Gold Medal is a tremendous thrill and one that I’m delighted to be able to share with everyone involved in bringing my vision to life. Building the first hidden garden at RHS Chelsea was immensely challenging and it’s down to the team of highly skilled craftsmen who helped create it that I’m celebrating this award today.”

The garden, sponsored by global law firm, Linklaters, was inspired by the progressive vision of the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, whose personal experience of cancer helped create the blueprint for Maggie’s Centres and their gardens. Plants and other elements of the Chelsea garden have been used to create a garden for the new Maggie’s Centre currently under construction at London’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The new garden, which has also been designed by Darren Hawkes, will have the same sense of enclosure and stillness as the Chelsea garden and provide a lasting legacy for the charity when it opens early in 2018.

landscaping

It is the first time both Linklaters and Maggie’s have been involved in an RHS Chelsea Show Garden.

Maggie’s Chief Executive, Laura Lee, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Darren’s vision and hard work has been recognised with this prestigious award. Each garden at Maggie’s has been carefully created to be a welcoming extension of our centres, offering uplifting views, a connection to the changing seasons and a place to sit and relax away from the hospital environment. Right from the start Darren has absolutely understood everything we try to achieve within our centres and gardens and has cleverly captured this within his design. I’m really excited to continue working with Darren as we take elements of this garden to our new centre opening at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where I know it will have a huge impact on the people living with cancer who will visit the garden when our centre opens.”

Nicola Rabson, Partner at Linklaters, said: “We feel privileged to have been involved in this award-winning garden for Maggie’s and we are delighted by the recognition that the garden has received. It has been a pleasure to be part of the team and see the determination and hard work that has gone into completing this wonderful and worthwhile project. It has been designed as a restorative and tranquil space away from less peaceful environments and is a perfect reflection of the haven that Maggie’s Centres provide.”

chelseaflowershow.linklaters.com

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