Design: The Perennial Garden, RHS Flower Show, Cardiff 2019

RHS Flower Show, Perennial Garden, 2019

Perennial and Peter Donegan confirm Show Garden at RHS Flower Show, Cardiff 2019.

To help mark its 180th anniversary, Perennial has partnered with Irish garden designer Peter Donegan with a show garden for RHS Flower Show Cardiff (12-14 April 2019). It is the first time the horticulture trade charity has exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show and the first time Peter (or any Irish designer) has had designs accepted to the prestigeous flower show.

In November 2018 Peter was selected by a French jury to represent Ireland to design and realise the Irish WW1 Centenary Peace Garden at Chateau de Peronne in the Somme region of Northern France and see the garden in the dried up moat of the 13th century castle to completion. This will be Peter’s first public garden since his return.

The Perennial Garden has been made possible by the support of the horticulture industry and in particular Ed Burnham of Burnham Landscaping, who since 2011 have created no less than 13 RHS Show Gardens (their most recent being at RHS Chelsea) and are constructing the show garden. Also Giles Heap and the CED Natural Stone team who are providing the hard landscaping, Oxford Planters are hand crafting the bespoke outdoor kitchen, legendary sculptor Simon Page and by no means least and Hortus Loci who are growing all of the plants.

After RHS Cardiff, the garden will be relocated to Veterans Growth based in East Sussex, a charity who run horticultural therapy courses for ex-service men and women who have been diagnosed with mental illness.

pic credit: Eoin Delaney, Directing Media

Speaking about the garden and his decision to support Perennial, designer Peter Donegan says:

Perennial helps people in horticulture manage and overcome the challenges of poor physical and mental health in an industry that demands strength and resilience. We hope this garden helps continue the conversation about mental health in the horticulture sector and helps spread the word that Perennial is here to help.

The Perennial Garden has been designed primarily as an entertainment space with a balance of culinary features, seasonal planting and space to enjoy time relaxing with friends and family. It will have a clean, modern look and feel with crisp lines, contemporary design features and lush planting. A planted screen provides the backdrop to the garden, making the most of the small space and adding vertical planted interest. Specimen trees and a choice mix of seasonal planting complements the hand cut stone landscaping. The changes in elevation within the garden provide added interest and create a focal point in the raised area for entertaining and an outdoor kitchen area and barbeque.

Anita Bates, Director of Marketing & Fundraising at Perennial says:

It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to exhibit at RHS Flower Show Cardiff and we are extremely grateful to Peter for the unwavering support he has shown Perennial over a number of years. We are here for anyone working in or retired from horticulture, forestry and arboriculture across Wales but too few people know about us. We know that people can find it hard to ask for help and thanks to The Perennial Garden we can tell show visitors about how they can support Perennial to encourage people to get in touch before their issue becomes a crisis.

Through the link with Veteran’s Growth, the Perennial Garden will come full circle. Not only does it offer us an incredible opportunity to talk to visitors about how Perennial helps people in horticulture across Wales, it will go on to provide a focus and learning tool for veterans who are having trouble readjusting to life after armed conflict. We know the positive impact gardening can have on mental health and are thrilled that this garden is going to live on after the show to help even more people.

Additional Support:

A huge thank you to those who for no greater gain than to see the garden to completion decided to get involved in this garden’s story and this journey from day dream to Cardiff and on to it’s final home in East Sussex could not have happened without you.

About Perennial:

Perennial helps anyone who creates or maintains gardens, parks, sports facilities and other green spaces. If you work with plants, trees or grass, or work in the places where they grow, Perennial is your charity. Everyone working in or retired from horticulture, forestry or arboriculture is eligible for our free and confidential help, which includes friendly one-to-one advice, support and financial assistance.

Our experienced, friendly and professional team helps families and individuals coping with life-changing events for as long as it’s needed. We believe everyone should know about us and feel confident to contact us, and this year we want to reach more people than ever before.

About Peter Donegan:

Peter Donegan began gardening at the age of 5 and having gardened all his childhood, went on to study horticulture for 4 years. In 2001 aged 24, he returned home to Ireland from the UK to set up Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd. He has since won a host of awards as both designer and contractor for 17th and 18th century gardens and show gardens at national competitions.

In November 2018 Peter was selected by a French jury to represent Ireland to design and realise the Irish WW1 Centenary Peace Garden at Chateau de Peronne in the Somme region of Northern France and see the garden in the dried up moat of the 13th century castle to completion. In addition to his landscaping work, Peter regularly gives garden talks, is a speaker and MC of live gardening events and is a member of The Garden Media Guild. He lives in the small village of Ballyboughal, North County Dublin, Ireland.

About Burnham Landscaping:

Burnham Landscaping focuses on delivering high quality design led garden construction within the domestic sector. Started by Ed Burnham, who has been Landscaping since he was 20, since 2011 Ed and his team have accomplished no fewer than 13 RHS show gardens, his most recent at Chelsea Flower Show in 2018.

perennial garden RHS Cardiff

RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 2019:

RHS Cardiff is the first major garden show of the Royal Horticultural Society’s calender. Set in Bute Park in the heart of Cardiff City Centre it began in 2005 and is headed by Show Manager Anna Skibniewski-Ball.

  • RHS Cardiff Dates: Friday 12 – Sunday 14, April 2019
  • Headline sponsor: Brewin Dolphin

Veterans’ Growth:

Jason Stevens is an army veteran of 16 years, medically discharged from the MOD in 2016, after he suffered a bilateral stoke caused by a hole in his heart. Now left with disabilities, both physical and cognitive, Jason was also diagnosed with PTSD and has been undergoing treatment and has since found the only thing that seemed to have any impact on his mental wellness was gardening.

In 2018 he sold his business to fund the start of Veterans’ Growth. The aim of the charity is to provide support and a place on the programme to every veteran in the UK who wants to attend and/or is unable to access help through other channels

Further notes:

  • 1 in 4 people have a mental health problem. (Office for National Statistics, Psychiatric Morbidity (2007)
  • The overall cost of mental health problems in Wales is an estimated £7.2 billion a year. (Mental Health Research Network (2009), Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness: the economic case for investment in Wales)
  • 53% of women in Wales suffer from low level mental health problems. (Women Like Me, Supporting Wellbeing in Girls and Women, Platform 51,2011)
  • Self-harm is a significant problem in Wales, as a result there are 6,000 emergency admissions to hospital per year. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, WAG, 2008)
  • 300 people die by suicide each year in Wales, 150,000 people have thoughts of suicide. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, WAG, 2008)
  • In 2010-11 there were 11,198 admissions (excluding place of safety detentions) to mental health facilities in Wales. (Admission of Patients to Mental Health Facilities, 2010-11, Welsh Government, 2011)
  • The rate of suicide for men in Wales is higher than the UK average. (Talk to Me, Suicide and Self Harm reduction strategy for Wales, WAG, 2008)