Chelsea Flower Show Special collection launched for Virtual Gardens campaign


National Garden Scheme launches Chelsea Flower Show Special Collection for Virtual Garden Visits campaign

  • Gardens by five top Chelsea Flower Show designers showcased in a series of stunning short films
  • How Chelsea gardens influence their wider careers

Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious shop window for garden design in the world. Careers are launched by gaining that elusive gold medal for a show garden. For visitors they are the big draw; fascination with the huge cost, a sense of fantasy, and admiration for the prodigious skill required to create something so accomplished in such a short time.

After Chelsea is over, often the only way people can enjoy the work of the designers is by visiting gardens they have created which open for the National Garden Scheme. With no show this year, we are celebrating these talents with virtual visits to memorable gardens designed by four of the most distinguished current designers – two of which are their own – and one garden designed for this year’s show. Together the five have amassed an impressive 29 Chelsea gold medals between them.

Tom Stuart-Smith is one of the most admired garden designers in the world who in the early-2000s created a series of the iconic Chelsea show gardens, winning 8 gold medals and three best in show awards in the process. Tom’s career revolves around the garden he has created at his Hertfordshire home The Barn. In a gorgeous film vignette he takes us on a tour and talks about his work.

Similarly, another favourite designer, Bunny Guinness, winner of six Chelsea gold medals and popular panellist on Radio Four’s Gardener’s Question Time, takes us on a tour of her Cambridgeshire garden where sustainability and self-sufficiency are the watchwords.

Julie Toll and Marcus Barnett both have similarly enjoyed Chelsea success to help boost their now international reputations as designers. Their contrasting ability to blend modern and contemporary with a more traditional country garden style are brilliantly shown off at the Manor House, Ayot St Lawrence designed by Julie and 15 The Avenue, Cheam, designed by Marcus.

And in celebration of the National Garden Scheme’s relationship with nurses we feature what would have been one of the stars of this year’s show, the Florence Nightingale Garden: a Celebration of Modern Nursing; designed by Robert Myers, which we will now have to wait until the 2021 Chelsea Flower Show to enjoy. The film is introduced by the President of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, Baroness Watkins, who explains the link between Florence Nightingale and the National Garden Scheme, before designer Robert Myers explains the inspiration for his garden and reveals some of the key features.

The films are part of the National Garden Scheme’s Help Support Our Nurses campaign which it has been running while all its gardens are closed. The charity is sharing weekly portfolios (released each Thursday) of films made in their gardens by owners who open and inviting people to make a donation when they watch in a bid to make up the huge funding gap for nursing and health charities that the closure of the gardens has created.


Chelsea Flower Show Special Virtual Garden Visits click here for all

Tom Stuart Smith: The Barn
Bunny Guinness: Sibberton Lodge, Cambridgeshire
Marcus Barnett: 15 The Avenue, Cheam
Julie Toll: The Manor House, Ayot St Lawrence
Robert Myers: The Florence Nightingale Garden; A Celebration of Modern Nursing 

LINK TO ACCOMPANYING IMAGES: https://bit.ly/NGSChleseaFlowerShowCollection

About the National Garden Scheme

Founded in 1927 to raise funds for community nurses the National Garden Scheme has given away over £60million to nursing and health charities and is the largest single funder for many of its beneficiaries. The money is raised through the opening of exceptional gardens across England and Wales. In 2019 the gardens raised £4 million. In 2020, 3,700 gardens were scheduled to open, but the current lockdown means that their gates have been closed for the first time in the charity’s history.

While the gardens are closed the charity has launched its Help Support Our Nurses campaign, sustained by a growing portfolio of Virtual Garden Visits, films made by owners of their gardens which are uploaded weekly to the website www.ngs.org.uk and social media.

Queen’s Nurse Quote:
“I love the National Garden Scheme which has been the most brilliant supporter of Queen’s Nurses like me. It was founded by the Queen’s Nursing Institute which makes me very proud. As we battle Coronavirus on the front line in the community, knowing we have their support is a real comfort.”

Liz Alderton, Queen’s Nurse - Photo Available here 

For more information please contact:

George Plumptre, Chief Executive. [email protected] 07855 396899

If you enjoyed this content please consider making a donation to help us continue to support our nursing and health beneficiaries.



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