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the covid recovery garden
This garden was designed for a hospital to provide their staff and the patients suffering from long-COVID an opportunity to rest and recuperate, take in the fresh air and benefit from nature’s healing powers.

At RHS Tatton Park it won Best Construction, People's Choice, Runner-up Young Designer of the Year and a Silver-Gilt Medal.

See the garden on the RHS website here
the design

This accessible, restorative hospital garden was designed to provide a safe space for patients suffering from long COVID and other long-term lung conditions to obtain all the benefits fresh air provides. Fresh air is said to energise and improve one’s immune system; relieve insomnia, anxiety, and stress; reduce lung inflammation and increases one’s airway space. All of which will aid patients’ recovery. In addition, the garden contains air-purifying plants such as holly, yew, and birch as well as remedial plants like lungwort, benefitting lung health.

The garden's shape is based on the Caduceus, the staff of Hermes, often used as a medical symbol. The top of the staff is represented by a transparent circular arbour under which staff and patients can sit all year round. Curved porcelain paths representing the winding snakes, have the patina of Verdigris (the result of copper oxidisation). This symbolises the lungs absorbing oxygen.


Adjacent to the arbour, a rain garden collects and filters water from the arbour roof. This also features a steel rill overhead, representing the staff aspect of Caduceus. At the end of the rill, in the third sphere there stands a tree with public messages of support and remembrance written on a  metallic hanging tree ornaments. Beneath this tree, lies a sculpture inspired by the spike protein anatomy of COVID-19, representing a patient’s victory and emerging recovery.


Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii' -AP

Magnolia fraseri 'Galaxy' 


Taxus baccata - AP


Eleagnus ebbingei - AP

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Snow Queen'

Osmanthus burkwoodii

Sarcoccoa Confusa


Asplenium Scolopendrium

Bletchnum Spicant 

Dryopteris Erythrosora 

Dryopteris Felix Mas

Polystichum setiferum


Deschampsia 'Bronzeschelier'

Carex Irish green 

Melica cileata

Sesleria autumnalis





Acanthus hungaricus 

Actaea racemosa 'White pearl'

Actea simplex 'White Pearl' 

Alchemilla Mollis

Ammi majus

Anemone 'Leather & Lace' 

Astrantia 'Florence'

Brunnera 'Betty Bowring'

Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

Bupleurum longifolium 

Calla Aethiopica

Campanula ‘Loddon Anna’

Digitalis 'Apricot beauty'

Digitalis 'Cream'

Digitalis 'Dalmation White' 

Digitalis 'Lutea'

Epimedium 'Frohnleiten'

Epimedium 'Perralderiann'

Erigeron Karvinskianus

Euphorbia 'Robbiae'

Eurybia divaricatus

Gaura 'Papillion'

Gaura 'Whispering butterflies' 

Geranium 'Rozanne' 

Geranium 'White Ness'

Hosta 'Devon Green'

Hosta 'Mouse Ears'

Ligusticum scoticum

Pachysandra 'Terminalis'

Physostegia virginiana 'Alba'

Sanguisorba canadensis

Sucissa pratensis

Thalictrum 'Splendide White'

Travetteria japonica 

Veronica spicata 'Alba'


COVID-19 has impacted the world significantly over the last two years. It has caused the loss of loved ones, prevented friends and family from seeing each other and completely paused the world for months. Even now with the vaccines, we are still feeling its impact and hearing about it in the news daily. As this was the first RHS show with designs produced post-Covid, I felt it was important and the right time to create a garden with this in mind, particularly as, when this was written there were approx. 12,000 people in hospital with COVID-19 and over two million people suffering from long-Covid. 

After the show, the garden was donated in its entirety to Brookside Clinic, an NHS community hospital in Aylesbury for patient and staff use.

a big thank you

Creating a show garden is a team effort and I am delighted to have such a fantastic one behind me.

Contractor: Everest Garden Landscapes

Everest Garden Landscapes | Facebook

Consultant: Gareth Wilson

Home - GK Wilson

The journey this garden is about to embark on wouldn't be possible without the most amazing companies, who I would highly recommend to anyone for their impeccable service and products.

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Photos supplied by Kat Weatherill Photography

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