Macmillan Legacy Garden Harrogate Spring Show

We were delighted to be chosen to create a Legacy Garden for Macmillan Cancer Support at the Harrogate Flower Show 2020.   Macmillan do incredible work supporting people through one of life’s scariest and most challenging experiences and we were keen to work with them to highlight how the money gifted to them positively supports people through a very turbulent time in their lives.

About the Garden:

We wanted to design an intimate, quiet and reflective garden where you could go to contemplate your legacy – either alone or with people you care about.

In exploring ways to create such a space we were inspired by the sense of peace and calm often found in old ecclesiastical buildings.  The architectural features of these spaces help in large part to create that atmosphere – soaring ceilings give the mind a sense of space, stained glass windows gently wash soft diffused light through the space and protective cloisters offer a space for quiet reflection.

By setting out a simple grid of trees in our garden for Macmillan we have created a meditative pathway around a nature filled woodland garden. The trunks of the trees give definition to the path and represent the structural columns that support the roof.  The crowns of the trees merge to form a natural vaulted ceiling and the light shining through the foliage casts hopeful rays of light through the garden.   

The pathway faces into a woodland style internal garden, representative of a cloister garden, where several water bowls, reminiscent of woodland puddles, reflect the sky and changing light and provide a point of reflection, physically and metaphorically. On rainy days these pools create a drip filled soundscape – an extra sensory layer to bring you into the present moment and contemplate your legacy.

Many of the features in the garden represent and refer to Macmillan’s work

The unfinished path: Right now, more than 2.5 million people are living with cancer in the UK. By 2030 this figure will rise to 4 million. As the number of people diagnosed increases, so does the need for Macmillan’s services. A gift in a will could help ensure Macmillan can continue to be there to meet this future need. The unfinished pathway in the garden reflects the continued need to support Macmillan so those living with cancer have access to the support they need. The paved area of the path represents the supportive foundation that Macmillan hope to provide for the 2.5million people currently diagnosed. The unpaved area represents the future need for support which Macmillan will need to secure through donations, such as gifts in wills.

A graduated series of water bowls indicate that gifts in wills can be any shape or size

The benches. Two of the three benches are constructed of one material finish and the other of another highlight the fact that legacies account for a third of Macmillan’s income

The woodland planting represents Macmillan in three ways; the strong upright trunks of the trees represent the strength and support of Macmillan’s skilled cancer care professionals; the grid of trees represent a woodland ecosystem – in a woodland, trees are interconnected – they communicate with and support each other through powerful fungi networks –  this interconnectedness represents Macmillan’s crucial work supporting people fighting cancer and finally the green woodland foliage beneath reflects the green brand of Macmillan

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