Seven Sanctuary Gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023, sponsored by the Newt in Somerset, have so far been announced, including gardens from Chelsea veterans such Thomas Hoblyn, Taina Suonio and Kazuyuki Ishihara and first-timers like Martyn Wilson.


Don't miss our piece on everything you need to know about Chelsea Flower Show 2023.

What is a Sanctuary Garden at Chelsea?

The Sanctuary gardens at Chelsea are smaller gardens that highlight the benefits of gardening on our wellbeing. Sustainable and wildlife friendly planting is central to each design. Two of the gardens are being sponsored by the grant-giving charity, Project Giving Back.

Here's what we know about the gardens so far.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 Sanctuary Gardens

The Boodles British Craft Garden

The Boodles British Craft Garden, Sanctuary Garden, designed by Thomas Hoblyn

Sponsor: Boodles

Designer: Thomas Hoblyn

Contractor: The Landscaping Consultants

Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite's stylised depiction of woodlands, this is a woodland glade-like garden is filled with plants selected for their perfected forms. The garden is a celebration of British craftsmanship and Thomas Hoblyn has worked with some top craftspeople to create it. Selected, refined and stylised forms of plants in shades of pinks, reds and blues include the feathery Alnus glutinosa ‘Imperialis’, weeping Betula pendula, the double flowered rambling rose ‘Félicité Perpétue’ over the arbour whilst coloured forms of ornamental grasses, sedges and perennials surround the pool.

Cavernoma On My Mind

Cavernoma on My Mind, Sanctuary Garden, designed by Taina Suonio and Anne Hamilton

Sponsor: The Cavernoma Society

Designer: Taina Suonio & Anne Hamilton

Contractor: Tom Salmon Landscaping

The Cavernoma On My Mind garden has named areas which describe the feelings of cavernoma patients, such as “fragility of life”,“unconditional love” and “fresh start”. The plants in these named areas have been chosen for
the feelings a patient goes through, or for the plants’ healing qualities. The glass steps ascending to the viewing platform symbolise hope for progress and the optimism required for living with the condition. The viewing platform represents security and clarity of vision into the future. The water feature which flows gently down a wall denotes on one hand the tears shed by the patients, and on the other, the calming effect of letting your emotions out. The garden contains plants that have been chosen to symbolise cavernoma, such as Acer griseum, commonly known as blood-bark maple, which represents the thin blood vessels that make up cavernomas and peonies, whose root extract also has medicinal qualities against epilepsy and seizures.

Hamptons Mediterranean Garden

Hamptons Mediterranean Garden, Sanctuary Garden, designed by Filippo Dester

Sponsor: Hamptons

Designer: Filippo Dester

Contractor: Garden Club London

The Hamptons Mediterranean Garden by Filippo Dester will transport visitors to a rural family garden with an outdoor kitchen surrounded by edible planting for alfresco dining, with the look, feel and smell of the Mediterranean.
There is a palette of Mediterranean plants in a dry, gravel garden area, productive borders to forage edibles, and ornamental borders. The colour scheme is rich in soft whites, blues, and glaucous foliage, with splashes of bold pinks and yellows. Statement plants in the garden include a fig tree and Arbutus unedo, large agaves, clouds of Pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ and Rosa glauca.

The London Square Community Garden

London Square Community Garden, Sanctuary Garden, designed by James Smith

Sponsor: London Square

Designer: James Smith

Contractor: The Landscape Consultants

The garden reflects London Square’s ethos of providing a vital connection between people through communal gardens. This garden represents a place to meet, to share food and to connect with nature and relax. There are two contrasting areas of what would be a larger garden. A welcoming meeting space has a a large communal table and borrowed chairs, and there are areas for growing produce, playing games, or sitting under the shade of a pergola. Planting will be a mix of lush green textures with highlights of purple, white, and pink.

The National Brain Appeal’s Rare Space

The National Brain Appeal's Rare Space, Sanctuary Garden, designed by Charlie Hawkes

Sponsor: Project Giving Back supporting the National Brain Appeal

Designer: Charlie Hawkes

Contractor: Landscape Associates Ltd

The National Brain Appeal's Rare Space has been created by designer Charlie Hawkes alongside people living with rare dementias. Non-memory led dementias can make seeing, understanding, and moving confidently through physical spaces extremely challenging, so the resulting garden is a space of contrasting materials to help identify and locate structural components, with a simple layout. Central to this is a level path which turns through the garden, offering along its way three seating areas. The garden highlights the exceptional work of the charity in funding worldleading research to address and support those with rare dementias and other neurological conditions. The garden uses a colour scheme of pink, purples, blues and reds with some flashes of light yellow. Key plants include Rosa glauca and Parrotia persica with a dense canopy to minimise dappled light, which can be confusing for people living with certain rare forms of dementia.

The RSPCA Garden

The RSPCA Garden, Sanctuary Garden, designed by Martyn Wilson

Sponsor: Project Giving Back supporting the RSPCA

Designer: Martyn Wilson

Contractor: Landscape Associates

Animals will also have their own sanctuary with the RSPCA’s wildlife friendly garden by first-time Chelsea designer Martyn Wilson, blending a space for both humans and creatures to live safely in harmony with each other. It is a contemporary interpretation of a wildlife sanctuary, inspired by native woodlands and the rehabilitation of wild animals that forms part of the RSPCA’s vital welfare work. Created using a fusion of natural, sustainable and recycled materials, it demonstrates how we can have a positive impact on biodiversity and live as part of the natural environment. Planting will be in a multi-layered naturalistic style, in shades of green, whites and tones of ‘RSPCA’ blue, with pollinator-friendly plants. The garden is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the RSPCA.

Zen Garden

Zen Garden, Sanctuary Garden, designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara

Sponsor: Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory

Designer: Kazuyuki Ishihara

Contractor: Ishihara Kazuyuki Design Laboratory

Chelsea favourite Kazuyuki Ishihara makes a welcome return to RHS Chelsea in 2023 with a garden inspired by the traditional satoyama landscapes found in the foothills of Japan. This garden is a refreshing place in which to live a simplified life. The water moves yet is quiet as in mountain spring. Surface fluctuations reflect flowers. The simple land area allows enjoyment of the charming rock garden, dry as in the mountains. The Japanese satoyama woodland plants of acer, pine, and mosses feature. The waterside uses watercress, iris, and natural materials that are deeply involved in the spirit of Zen forming a solid base for our spiritual lives.


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Veronica Peerless is a trained horticulturalist and garden designer.