Sue Ryder Grief Kind Garden

Designed as a safe and peaceful sanctuary, the Sue Ryder Grief Garden offers a place sit within nature to share experiences of grief and quiet reflection.

Sue Ryder Grief Kind Garden for RHS Chelsea 2024

Plants, carefully chosen for their sensory properties, are layered throughout the garden to connect people with the space. The design has taken inspiration from its final destination – Bedford with its history in lace production, using some of the organic shapes from the famous Midlands ‘Bud’ lace, to create the designs for the planting borders and the York stone paving in the garden.

The space will accommodate the varying mobility needs of the Grief Kind Garden users. The sight lines of the garden, as seen from a bed or a chair, is considered in the design.

A range of sensory perennial plants and a number of unusual specimen trees have been selected to provide year-round interest. These include Heptacodium miconioides, which has deep green foliage and pretty clusters of scented flowers in late summer; Frangula alnus ‘Aspleniifolia’, with its delicate filigree lace foliage; and a multi-stemmed form of Tilia henryana, which has textural leaves and fragrant flowers.

In terms of sustainability, Yorkshire limestone used for paving will be lifted and relaid at the hospice. CemFree cement will be used throughout and plants supplied by How Green Nursery in Kent, know for growing all of their plants using peat-free compost. The steel framework around the garden will be repurposed into raised beds after the show for use in the hospice garden.

After the show the garden will be relocated in its entirety to Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Bedford, to provide a lasting legacy as a dedicated space for grieving, benefiting the local community, hospice staff, patients and their families.

Designed by Katherine Holland, a garden designer who combines her passion for strong design and beautiful planting to create bespoke, wildlife-friendly gardens for spaces of all kinds. Holland has a garden design diploma from the London College of Garden Design and in 2022 was awarded a Silver medal at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival for the Global Impact garden, A Journey, in collaboration with charity Sue Ryder, a garden she co-designed with Becca Nash.

The Sue Ryder Grief Kind Garden is supported by Project Giving Back and will be built by Greenscape Gardens Ltd.