Perennial Lifeline Garden wins Silver-Gilt at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Our Perennial Lifeline Garden has been awarded an RHS Silver-Gilt Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Marking our 180th anniversary of helping people in horticulture, the garden, designed by Chelsea first timers Colm Joseph and Duncan Cargill, was inspired by Sir Roy Strong’s The Laskett Gardens in Herefordshire and features a sustainable rose meadow.

Staged as a walk-through exhibit in the Great Pavilion, the garden has attracted praise for its innovative perennial rose meadow planting design. This reimagines the classical rose garden at the Laskett Gardens, the garden that is bequeathed to Perennial by Sir Roy Strong. The creation of the exhibit was a true collaboration from many industry partners who have come together in their support of Perennial. It provides a powerful platform to raise awareness of how Perennial helps everyone working in horticulture and their families when they are struggling financially, physically and personally.

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

“Our aim was to reach more people than ever before with the message that we are here to help and where better to spread the word than via the world’s most famous flower show? It has been an incredible opportunity for Colm and Duncan to come to Chelsea as first-time designers and work with such a great cross-industry team of experts. Perennial has been at the heart of horticulture for 180 years and, as we look to the future, we are thrilled to have been able to unveil our new brand at Chelsea. We will speak to as many people as possible throughout the week about how Perennial helps those in need.”

Giving the designers the opportunity to make their flower show debut, Colm and Duncan’s design for the garden was chosen following a competition run jointly by Perennial and the London College of Garden Design from which they are recent graduates. Partners from across the industry who lent their support to the garden included Conquest Creative Spaces as contractor and suppliers London Stone, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Peter Beales Roses and Stark & Greensmith. Apprentices from the Association of Professional Landscapers helped build the garden.

Colm said:

“It has been a real joy and privilege to design and deliver this garden at RHS Chelsea for Perennial. Perennial are at the heart of the horticultural industry and the support we have had from the some of the very best growers, contractors, and suppliers has been humbling. As a first timer at RHS Chelsea, it has been an amazing experience to see the garden come together,  and nerve-wracking to have it judged! The design of a rose garden reimagined as a naturalistic ‘rose meadow’ was always going to challenge the conventions of exhibiting in the Great Pavilion, so I am thrilled with our Silver-Gilt medal. A massive thank you to Perennial and London College of Garden Design for the opportunity and support, and to the huge team of committed people and professionals who helped us realise a dream.”

Duncan said:

“It has been a brilliant experience working with Perennial and the access they have given us to the best people in the industry has made creating the garden a wonderful experience. Thanks to everyone involved.”

Taking the elements of the Laskett Garden’s traditional rose garden and colonnade as inspiration, Colm and Duncan’s design centres on the low maintenance rose meadow that is a bold move away from traditional rose pruning and maintenance techniques. The roses are planted as if running wild amongst ornamental grasses, perennials and annuals to create a striking and texturally rich display with long seasonal interest. Providing formality and structure, topiary, bespoke metal screens from Stark & Greensmith and limestone pillars by London Stone combine to form the contemporary colonnade. The rill and cascades flowing around the garden represents the ‘lifeline’ that Perennial represents for so many people over the past 180 years.


The full Perennial Lifeline Garden team is:

Colm Joseph Garden Design | Co-designer

Cargill Sykes  |  Co-designer

Conquest Creative Spaces  |  Main contractor

London Stone  |  Donated Jura limestone paving, bespoke limestone pillars and benches

London College of Garden Design  |  Partnered on design competition

Stark & Greensmith  |  Manufactured and supplied the bespoke metal screens

Majestic Trees  |  Sourced topiary and trees supplied on loan

Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants  |  Majority of perennial plants supplied free of charge

Peter Beales Roses  |  Supplied the roses and advice

Hortus Loci  |  Supplied the remaining plants and hosted the volunteer day

CED Stone  |  Supplied gravel for pathways free of charge

The Association of Professional Landscapers  |  Provided apprentices to help with build

Fairwater Ltd & Kelley Peers Design Partnership  |  Supplied water feature and rill


For more information about the garden visit: www.perennial.org.uk/chelsea