MAIDENHEAD-based building and landscaping firm Farr and Roberts are to make their debut appearance at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May, with the Hope on the Horizon garden, designed in aid of Help for Heroes.
The Hope on the Horizon garden, sponsored by the David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, represents the complex and progressive path of recovery experienced by our wounded, injured and sick military personnel, veterans and their families.
The garden aims to echo the Help for Heroes ethos; to inspire, enable and support those returning heroes during their recovery and beyond.
Designer Matthew Keightley (29), has created the garden as a result of his brother Michael’s involvement with the Armed Forces, having served on four tours to Afghanistan and due for his fifth this year. This, paired with his admiration for the fundraising and work Help for Heroes does, was the starting point for Matthew’s design inspiration.
Matthew says: “With a military link so close to home and an overwhelming admiration for the work that Help for Heroes does to support our wounded heroes, I had the perfect starting point for a concept to be born.
“As a result of the rapid responses of our troops on the frontline, many lives are saved and the road to recovery for our heroes begins. This is the journey that I will explore and attempt to reflect through my design for the garden; from the damaged and distressed beginnings to how they rebuild their lives and achieve strong and confident hope-filled futures,” he said.
“I want to represent all of those who have suffered injury or loss; it’s about the blokes, our men and women of the armed forces. We want to help and inspire our heroes.”
The garden layout is based on the shape of the Military Cross, the medal awarded for extreme bravery. Granite blocks will represent the soldiers’ physical wellbeing and the planting represents their psychological wellbeing at various stages of their rehabilitation. Both evolve through the garden from a rough, unfinished, over-grown beginning through to a perfectly sawn, structured end.
An avenue of hornbeams draws the attention through the entire garden to a sculpture resembling a hopeful horizon; a reminder to the soldiers that they all have a bright future ahead. As well as areas to recline and reflect, the garden offers focal points all the way through.
Cool, calming colours are used throughout, helping to emphasise the fact that it will be a serene, contemplative space.
After the show, the garden will be moved and set within the grounds at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre at Chavasse VC House in Colchester in Essex, offering a peaceful haven to contemplate and inspire a bright future and to support the challenging journey to recovery.