Perennial returns to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2019 with a Great Pavilion garden designed by first time Chelsea designers Colm Joseph and Duncan Cargill. Inspired by Sir Roy Strong’s autobiographical The Laskett Gardens, The Perennial Lifeline Garden, highlights the long-standing and ever-evolving role of Perennial in supporting everyone working in and retired from horticulture.

Chosen following a design competition run jointly by Perennial and the London College of Garden Design, Colm and Duncan’s garden celebrates Perennial’s role at the heart of horticulture and captures the spirit of Sir Roy Strong CH and Julia Trevelyan Oman’s The Laskett Gardens, which Sir Roy bequeathed to Perennial in 2015.

Colm says:

“We are honoured to have been chosen to represent Perennial at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2019 and to work with Sir Roy Strong CH on the exhibit. We hope our design resonates with visitors to the show who will be able to walk through the garden, exploring the familiar, reimagined.”

Duncan says:

“The garden celebrates design heritage but reinterprets classical principles and elements with an eye on the future. Just as Perennial has adapted over the last 180 years to help countless people in the horticulture industry manage challenging times, we hope the garden takes the best from the past while embracing the future.”

The Perennial Lifeline Garden features a classical rose garden reimagined as a more sustainable and low maintenance ‘rose meadow’. Roses intermingle with ornamental grasses, perennials and annuals to create a striking and texturally rich display with long seasonal interest. Providing formality and structure, three forms of hedge (beech, yew and hornbeam) are asymmetrically arranged and clipped to varying heights, while classical sculpture is replaced by the organic forms of multi-stem trees, helping to frame views through the space. Freestanding metal screens, stone and topiary columns and a pair of modern ‘fountains’ combine in a modern reimagining of a classical colonnade, in which visitors can move around and walk beneath the cascades. A contemporary rill flows through and around the garden, adding life and sound to the structural planted elements, representing the ‘lifeline’ that Perennial is so often described as by the people it supports.

Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Perennial says:

“Our aim in 2019 is simple – to reach more people than ever before with the message that Perennial is here to help everyone who works in horticulture. From gardeners to greenkeepers, foresters to landscape designers, if you work with plants, trees or turf, we’re your lifeline when times get tough. We’re thrilled with Colm and Duncan’s design and look forward to speaking to visitors about how Perennial is both rooted in the history of the UK horticulture industry and evolving to ensure its people flourish well into the future.”


Colm and Duncan are alumni of the highly-acclaimed London College of Garden Design. Running separate garden design practices, their collaboration for Perennial at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 brings together their complementary skills and design approaches to explore the theme of celebrating heritage while looking to the future.

Colm Joseph landscape + garden design, based near Cambridge and Newmarket, specialises in modern and contemporary garden design. Duncan is one side of garden and landscape partnership Cargill Sykes Ltd. They are based in London and the Cotswolds and are also undertaking projects in France and Spain.   |

Tickets to the show are now on sale here.


Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 May 2019

8am – 8pm

8am- 5.30pm

London Gate
Royal Hospital Road
Royal Hospital Chelsea

For show information and tickets visit RHS Chelsea Flower Show

#PerennialLifelineGarden tweets