Hampton show garden highlights Perennial’s support for women in horticulture

A show garden at next week’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will highlight the role that horticulturists’ charity Perennial plays in helping all those in the industry during times of need. ‘A Growing Obsession – the Yardley London Perennial Garden’, designed by Jean Wardrop and Alexandra Stevenson, celebrates the role of women in horticulture since the Victorian era, underlining the many ways in which Perennial helps hundreds of women working in horticulture every year.

A Growing Obsession: the Yardley London Perennial Garden

The show garden is inspired by a Victorian ladies’ flower garden and recalls Perennial’s heritage as a benevolent charity, founded during Victorian times to look after the people who worked in the great estate gardens of the time. Ever since 1839, Perennial has looked after everyone working in or who has worked in the industry when times get tough.

Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Development at Perennial comments:

“There are huge numbers of talented women and men working in horticulture but unfortunately sometimes life throws out unexpected challenges and hardships; for example in an industry where physical fitness is vital, an accident or long term illness can be catastrophic for that person’s livelihood. We hope that this show garden in collaboration with Yardley London will help remind everyone in our industry how we can help when there is nowhere else to turn.”

Perennial’s services also extend to the horticulturist’s dependent family members. It provides help and support during traumatic events such as debt, financial hardship, illness, redundancy, homelessness and bereavement, as well as disability and old age and all support is free, confidential and for as long as it is needed. The charity also offers various horticultural training opportunities.

The concept for A Growing Obsession – the Yardley London Perennial Garden was inspired by a book published in 1840 entitled ‘Instructions in Gardening for Ladies’ by Jane Loudon, in an era when gardening starting to cross gender divides and become more accessible to all. Reflecting the elegance and grandeur of the Victorian age, the garden is based on formal areas of bedding, pathways for promenading and a terrace with balustrade framing the view. It features a decorative glass house for exotics and a fernery, both fashions of the 19th century.

Historical themes and gardening heritage will be a strong element of this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, as the event celebrates its 25th anniversary and promises to be more spectacular than ever. This year also marks the 500th anniversary of the Hampton Court Palace itself.

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs from 30 June – 5 July 2015. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk

For further information about Perennial and to find out more about how it helps horticulturists visit www.perennial.org.uk

For further information about Yardley London and its range of floral fragrances and ancillary body products, visit www.yardleylondon.co.uk

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For Perennial media enquiries contact:

Clare Johnson  |  clare@bloom-pr.co.uk  |  07815 041635

Jennie Spears  |  jennie@bloom-pr.co.uk  |  07944 552634


In addition to the sponsorship provided by Yardley London, The Growing Obsession garden is supported by a range of companies as follows:

TKE Landscaping (Garden contractor)


SeedSava (Sponsor)


Chilstone (Providing balustrading, urns, stone seats and garden edging)


Griffin Glasshouses (Supplying a Victorian ‘Thyme’ Glasshouse)


CED Natural Stone (Providing Yorkshire stone paving, gravel paths and CDEC for marquee)


Greenwood Plants (Providing plants)


Hever Castle (Professional planting expertise from the Hever Castle gardening team)


Alan Bishop Associates (Constructing the rockery using methods and techniques employed by James Pulham in the 1800s)


Rolawn (Supplying turf)


Landscape Plus (Supplying garden lighting)


English Garden Chairs (Supplying Victorian garden chairs and table)



Perennial offers free, confidential advice and support to everyone working in or retired from horticulture and their families, including gardeners, landscapers, nursery and garden centre staff, parks and grounds care staff and tree surgeons. People turn to Perennial for financial and emotional help in times of need because of disability, sickness, poverty, financial hardship and old age – although increasingly younger people are seeking their assistance. Many individuals describe the services Perennial offers as a ‘lifeline’. The work of Perennial depends entirely on voluntary donations from the horticultural industry and the garden-loving public.

Find out more at www.perennial.org.uk. Follow on Twitter @PerennialGRBS or find us on Facebook.


Yardley London is a quintessentially English fragrance brand, which has been capturing the delicate fragrance of flowers since 1770. One of England’s most distinguished heritage beauty brands, Yardley London is an established purveyor of authentic and credible quality floral fragrances and ancillary body products, made in Britain. The Contemporary Classics range combines quality ingredients infused in four contemporary, refreshing scents – English Lavender, English Rose, Lily of the Valley and April Violets – to create a modern British classic. All products in the Yardley London Contemporary Classics floral fragrance range are paraben, cocomide, DEA and Mineral Oil free and contain up to 95% naturally derived ingredients.

Find out more at www.yardleylondon.co.uk. Follow on Twitter @YardleyLondonUK or Facebook.


Jean Wardrop worked at the Fulham Palace Garden Centre for 18 months and also worked with Mark Lutyens designing a project for a private client. She graduated with a BA (Hons) first in Garden Design at Greenwich University in 2000 and has been running her own garden design business since 1997.

Alex Stevenson graduated from Sheffield University as a Landscape Architect in 2001. She has worked for private practices in the North West, North East and South East of England; and worked for 5 years in Canberra, Australia. Her portfolio of projects includes quarry restoration, commercial developments, schools, parks, care homes, (specialising in dementia care gardens) and the Turkish Embassy, Canberra. This is her first foray into the world of show gardens where she is launching her own design business.

Find out more at www.wardropdesigns.co.uk . Follow progress on Facebook.