Cancer Research UK has teamed up with designer Tom Simpson for its garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, designed to raise awareness of the importance of gifts in Wills to Cancer Research UK’s progress.
Simpson won a gold medal at his first ever RHS show at Hampton Court last year and has been listed as one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30. For Cancer Research UK’s Pledge Pathway To Progress garden, he has taken inspiration from supporters working together with researchers to beat cancer for future generations by pledging a gift in their Will to the charity.
The planting scheme is richly scented and vibrant, designed to address the changes that patients can experience in their senses during chemotherapy as well as to help improve mood and wellbeing.
Dotted amongst the garden are carved timber stakes. Eight of these are ‘pledge’ stakes containing the name of a supporter and why they have pledged a gift in their Will. Ten are ‘progress’ stakes containing a moment in time when significant progress was made by a cancer researcher. Visitors can take a moment to reflect by the garden’s sunken pool under the shade of a magnificent tulip tree, chosen to represent the impact of legacy donations for future generations.
The core colors are the purples and pinks associated with the Cancer Research UK logo, including Salvia ‘Amistad’ and Rosa ‘Fru Dagmar Hastrup’. Other plants have been chosen specifically for their cancer treatment affinity, such as yew hedging, the clippings of which are used to make the chemotherapy drug docetaxel.
Clare Moore, Director of Legacies at Cancer Research UK said:
“Tom has created an incredible space that allows visitors to quietly reflect on the contribution of all our supporters and researchers who have pledged to beat cancer for future generations. The carved timber pledge and progress stakes are a perfect way to capture our appreciation of their legacy.
“At Cancer Research UK over one third of all our funding comes from gifts in wills, which means that people who leave gifts to us fund a third of our life-saving work. This work is vital in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and has helped save millions of lives.”
“I am thrilled to be working with Cancer Research UK’s legacies team to be designing a garden with such a positive and important message. The work they do changes lives and I hope that the garden goes some way to encourage more pledges of support so that this important work may continue.
“Working on the project has really opened my eyes to the links between plant life and cancer treatment, inspiring me to design the garden with Cancer Research UK’s incredible supporters and researchers at its heart.”
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival is open to the public from the 2 to 7 July 2019.
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