Industry pulls out all the stops for Perennial Lifeline Garden at Chelsea

Company: Perennial

Preparations for the Perennial Lifeline Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 entered their final phase when the team broke ground on site on Wednesday 8 May. They have just 12 days to transform a patch of grass into a fully functional garden, complete with ambitious cascading water feature and overhead rill. Precision planning and scheduling is a crucial element of any Chelsea garden’s success and with so many moving parts, it will be down to Ross Conquest of Conquest Creative Spaces to ensure this one stays on track.

Ross says: “We’ve been planning this garden for months and we are excited the build is now under way. We have assembled a great team, including on-site foreman James Coleman from Designs by Sussex and a brilliant group of year two landscape apprentices from the Association of Professional Landscapers. Colm and Duncan’s design is really ambitious and we have the added challenge of not being able to dig in the Great Pavilion, but we’ve had a trial run and have the support of some of the best in the business including London Stone and Stark & Greensmith so I’m really confident we’re going to produce a fantastic garden the Chelsea crowds are going to love.”
Inspired by Sir Roy Strong’s autobiographical The Laskett Gardens, the Perennial Lifeline Garden helps mark the charity’s 180th anniversary and highlights the long-standing and ever-evolving role of Perennial in supporting everyone working in and retired from horticulture. It is the third major show garden to be built for Perennial this year. Peter Donegan won an RHS Silver Medal for the Perennial Garden at RHS Flower Show Cardiff last month followed by David Lewis’s Premier Gold and Best in Show for the Perennial Legacy Garden at Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

Anita Bates, Director of Marketing & Fundraising at Perennial said: “To get the garden to this point has been an incredible team effort, with support from a huge number of companies and people. We set out to create an opportunity for new designers to build their first Chelsea garden to celebrate our 180th anniversary and had a feeling it would be a great project, but it has exceeded our expectations before it’s even built! From the hugely generous contribution we have received from London Stone to the hours of time our volunteers will spend talking to people at the show, this garden really cements Perennial’s standing at the heart of the horticulture industry and will help us reach many more people with information about our services this year.”
The full garden team:

  • Colm Joseph Gardens - Co-designer of the garden, winner of the London College of Garden Design competition
  • Duncan Cargill of Cargill Sykes - Co-designer of the garden, winner of the London College of Garden Design competition
  • Conquest Creative Spaces- Main contractor overseeing the build, with support from James Coleman
  • London Stone - Donating the Jura Limestone Paving and bespoke Limestone Pillars and benches
  • London College Garden Design - Andrew Fisher Tomlin and the team at LCGD helped run the original design competition to create this garden, and have supported Colm and Duncan throughout the process
  • Stark & Greensmith - Manufacturing and supplying the freestanding metal screens for the garden and are launching an exclusive Perennial Rose panel, inspired by The Laskett Gardens
  • Majestic Trees - Sourced and grew the bespoke topiary and the trees are being supplied on loan
  • Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants - Supplying the majority of the perennial plants free of charge
  • Peter Beales - Have supplied all the roses for the sustainable rose meadow and have provided invaluable insight and advice to the team 
  • Hortus Loci - Supplying the remaining plants and hosted the volunteer briefing day on Sunday 28 April
  • CED Stone - Supplying the self-binding gravel for the pathways free of charge
  • Association of Professional Landscapers - Providing apprentice volunteers to build the garden at the show
  • Fairwater Ltd & Kelley Peers Design Partnership - Supplying the cascading water feature & rill
  • Willy and George from Artisan Paving - Overseeing the paving
  • Will Burberry of Radial Landscapes and Sam Taylor from Garden TLC - Two gold medal WorldSkills champions are part of the build team

Anita Bates continues: “It’s at this point in any garden build that we remind ourselves of why we’re doing it! Our aim in 2019 is simple – to tell more people than ever before that Perennial is here to help everyone who works in horticulture or had retired from the industry. The Perennial Lifeline Garden, put simply, has the potential to save someone’s life. We expect to give out around 20,000 leaflets about the garden and our work at the show, and if just a fraction of those reach people in horticulture who need us, we’ll have achieved our aim.”

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21-25 May. For more details about the Perennial Lifeline Garden visit For information about the show, visit

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