2021 - RHS Tatton Flower Show - The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden


The Cancer Research UK Legacy Garden was inspired by the Greek proverb: ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in’. Similarly progress is made possible when people leave a gift in their Will to the charity and we were asked to highlight this message through a garden at the 2021 RHS Tatton Flower Show.


One of the challenges from the outset was, unlike any show garden we had designed or built previously the garden was open to the public who could walk through and be able to really get close to some of the details.

The key construction features within the garden were the lightweight 'floating' circular roof and the five water channels running from each entrance to the garden and disappearing into the lush green planting of the centre garden with mature Platinus Orientalis tree.

The message of how legacies left in peoples Wills could fund the breakthroughs in the treatment and curing of cancer needed to be clear... and the inspiration of how a trees roots feed its growth then translated into the water channels feeding the tree and its canopy breaking through the roof.

Each of these water rills ran right through the paving and so we had laser cut stainless steel tops made, taking further inspiration from the Cancer Research UK logo and the multiple circles which allowed the sight and sound of the water, whilst also ensuring safe and easy access to the public.


The hard landscaping within the garden was intended to be slightly clinical and minimalist in style using porcelain paving and stainless steel as well as three polished concrete pebble seats from sculptor Ben Barrell.

In contrast the planting was intended to soften and be a modern take on a cottage style of planting with the colour scheme inspired by the corporate colours of Cancer Research UK.


With just 14 days to build the garden it was a real push to get the garden finished and after a week of rain building the structure of the garden, the clouds parted and the temperatures rocketed to a balmy 25 degrees; bringing a different challenge as the planting got underway.

But it was all worth while once the team and all at Cancer Research UK were presented with a Gold medal.

And as the show got underway the sunshine continued and the response from the public was just as bright.

A big thank you to all our contributors including London Stone, Miles Nurseries and Gareth Wilson