Q & A with Sarah Wilson: Macmillan legacy garden designer

Garden Designer Sarah Wilson is the creative brains behind Macmillan’s legacy garden. We asked Sarah to tell us a bit about the inspiration behind her garden design and the practical challenges of building a show garden.

You can visit the Macmillan legacy garden at the RHS Flower Show Cardiff between Friday 7 and Sunday 9 April 2017.

Macmillan Legacy Garden Designer Sarah Wilson

Garden Designer Sarah Wilson

What are the challenges of designing a garden for Macmillan Cancer Support?

The challenges are always the same for every show garden; delivering a beautiful garden on time and on budget!

With the legacy garden though, it was imperative that I fulfil the brief of creating a garden that links back to the central concept of Legacy.

It took time to work out how the theme could be explored throughout every aspect of the garden but I feel happy that visitors to the garden will be able to relate the garden back to the concept and hopefully it will encourage people to think about their own legacies.

Quote - The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under show shade you do not expect to sit.

What do you want people to feel when they come to the garden?

I designed the garden to be a calm and contemplative space. The quote addressing the idea of what you leave behind once you are gone is at the centre of the garden and by reading it, I hope people will take a moment to consider the meaning behind the quote.

Tell us a bit about the sculpture at the heart of the garden?

The sculpture is the central feature from which the rest of the garden radiates. The quote is engraved around the sculpture and to mirror the sentiment behind the quote, the garden literally spreads out from this point in circles to signify a ripple effect.

The ripples represent the far reaching consequences of actions taken in the present that resonate even after a person is no longer here.

Illustration of the Macmillan legacy garden

Illustration of the Macmillan legacy garden

What goes into creating a garden for the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff? Who else is involved?

The garden is created by a whole team of people starting with those at Macmillan who made the whole thing possible. My hard-working landscapers Smartscape will be building the garden and I have a host of excellent nurseries supplying plants.

The materials have been donated either wholly or in part by Selco and Kinley Systems respectively and the bench has kindly been donated by The Garden Furniture Centre.

Without the hard work and generosity of these companies, the garden would not have happened so I’m extremely grateful to everybody involved.

How long will it take to install the Macmillan Legacy garden?

The garden will take approximately nine days to complete.

Tell us about how you got into garden designing?

I got into garden design following a career change to horticulture around eight years ago. I spent the majority of my time looking after gardens other people had designed and I decided that I’d love to design spaces myself. My aim is to create gardens that work for people where their ideas can come to life.

Do you have any connections with Wales?

I spent the most amazing week at a place called Stout Hall in the Gower Peninsula when I was at school. We took walking trips around the area and spent time outdoors and I fell in love with Wales as a result of that.

You can find out more about Macmillan’s Legacy Garden on the RHS Flower Show Cardiff website.

Gifts in wills are an amazing way of continuing your support for Macmillan long into the future.If you would like to know more please visit our website.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @swilson09 


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