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A memorial garden created by the landscape architects who designed the new temple gardens at New Lands will feature as a main show garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The Memoria & GreenAcres Transcendence Garden by landscape architects McWilliam Studio will be spiritual in nature, a journey of reflection, where feelings associated with personal loss and grief are explored and challenged, realising the positive energies that lie within.
At the end of 2022, McWilliam Studio completed the new gardens at New Lands, as part of a much larger building project involving the construction of a new temple. This serene garden has also been designed with a spiritual journey in mind, encouraging visitors to pause and reflect, tapping into the strong earth energies that exist here. Led by McWilliam Studio director Gavin McWilliam, the temple garden features a cornucopia of fauna varieties, unique sculptures, a calming Chakra walk, striking stone placements, and geometrical shapes that highlight the sacred and symbiotic energies flowing through the area.
At RHS Chelsea this year, Gavin and co-designer Andrew Wilson will channel a similar energy, focusing their garden on ‘transcendence’ and a spiritual journey, with changing layers and challenging paths throughout the garden creating a contrasting experience of life.
One of their key aims is to reflect the emotional experience at the end of life. Speaking to the RHS, Gavin expressed how his personal experience has inspired the design of his Chelsea garden:
“Prior to losing my dad we lost my sister, she died when she was 24, so we were already aware of the mortality of life at that age. A few years later my dad died as well”, Gavin says.
“At the same time, I had an operation which turned out to be serious and it ended up changing my entire perspective on life. I had this desire to do something that was tangible that had value, something that connected me to nature, to try to create beautiful spaces”, he adds.
“There’s a cycle of life in landscape – growing and dying, growing, and dying – and there’s something quite positive about that.”
You can see Gavin and Andrew’s spiritual memorial garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London between 22 – 28 May. The new garden they designed here at New Lands is also open for visitors, with a summer open day taking place on 24thJune.