The Concept

The spiralling form of the Perennial Sanctuary Garden, with its changing colour palette of plants, symbolically represents the journey a Perennial client makes as they move from chaos to safety with Perennial’s help. On the outer edge of the spiral visitors are closer to the showground with noise and distraction more apparent. The stimulating red planting enhances this effect and represents the inner chaos that can come from being at crisis point.

As the visitor’s journey into the garden begins, the planting becomes taller and more immersive, the sights and sounds of the outside world become increasingly obscured and far away. The planting becomes more restful, simple and calming in colour, form and texture. In the centre of the garden the planting transitions to a single species of towering bamboo, totally screening the outside world from view, creating a protected central area. This journey helps the visitor experience the difference Perennial makes to thousands of horticulturists each year, many of whom describe the charity’s services as a lifeline, giving them the tools to help themselves and to begin to turn their lives around.

The Design

The choice of colour in the garden is very specific and is central to the whole concept. Each swathe of colour represents a different emotion or state of mind and each shows how Perennial’s practical help and advice can be the difference between sink and swim for so many horticulturists each year:

RED: Bold, eye-catching and exciting in form, colour and texture, red represents excitement, passion, chaos and confusion. It gives visitors
a stimulating start to their journey through the garden. Plants in this band include Sanguisorba ‘Tana’, Crocosmia ‘Hellfire’ and Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’.

ORANGE: Reds fade gradually to orange, a colour that represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness and creativity, combining the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It shows a move away from chaos, towards the safety of solutions. Plants in this band include Achillea millefolium ‘Terracotta’ and Kniphophia uvaria ‘Nobilis’.

YELLOW: The palette transitions to yellow, the colour of sunshine, associated with joy, happiness and intellect. Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness and stimulates mental activity. At this stage help is at hand and things are becoming less stressful and more ordered and focused. A positive outcome seems more possible. Plants in this band include Helianthus annuus and Inula helenium.

PURPLE: As the planting colour blends to purple it also becomes less busy. Fewer species of plants make up the inner section of the garden further enhanceing the feeling of inner calm. Purple is associated with wisdom and dignity and is a fitting colour to represent how Perennial caseworkers restore dignity to their clients. Plants in this band include Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’ and Miscanthus ‘Purpurascens’.

BLUE: The colour of the sky and sea, blue is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence and calm. Plants in this band include Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ and Phlox ‘Blue Paradise’.

GREEN: Finally, at the centre of the garden, the planting becomes pure green, the colour of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, stability and endurance. Green has healing power, it is the most restful colour for the human eye and it has strong emotional correspondence with safety and sanctuary. The single species in this band is statement 5m tall Phyllostachys aurea bamboo.


Tuesday 4 July – Sunday 9 July

10am – 7.30pm

10am – 5.30pm

Hampton Court Palace
East Molesey

For show information and tickets visit

The Garden Team