Inspiration behind the Sculpture Garden
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Chelsea Flower Show 2016 is now just 8 weeks away! And the preparations for our collaborative sculpture garden are well underway, last week John Everiss, the talented garden designer behind it all came to see our progress with the handmade stone for the Greek temple centrally featured in this stunning artisan show garden, we laid all the stone out in the workshop to ensure it fitted perfectly to the metal frame… but more on that later, there’s lots to share!
We are proud and honoured to be donating our time and all of the stonework for this incredible show garden to the sponsor Meningitis Now; who have now been working tirelessly to provide life saving advice about this devastating disease for 30 years.
The whole concept of the Meningitis Now Futures garden was created to raise much needed awareness for meningitis. We have been working with Meningitis Now since July 2015 when the idea was first conceived, since then you have probably seen some extremely prominent meningitis cases widely reported in the news, incredibly sad cases of meningitis in children showing all too clearly the real life devastation it can bring to families.
Each element of this poignant sculpture garden will relate back to meningitis in a unique way, and help to tell the stories of those who have fought the disease and won as well as those who have sadly lost their battle with meningitis, many at a cruelly young age…
Garden designer John Everiss explains;
Five sculptures of young survivors of meningitis travel across the garden from right to left. Two Cotswold drystone walls divide the garden, with the right hand wall representing the disease which is unseen to the approaching children.
One sculpture begins to pass through, reaching up for help. The second begins to pass through, but doesn’t appear on the other side showing the high mortality rate, something the charity really wanted to get over in the finished design.
Between the two walls is a tapered gravel path leading to a covered stone seating area, appearing like a small folly, these represent the charity, giving both a pause in the Children’s lives and an area of refuge. A bespoke oak seat will bear the Latin motto of the charity with a carved stone tableau above, depicting the gods helping mortal man.
The stone tableau will depict a classic scene of the Greek god Asclepius, a god of medicine and healing within ancient Greek mythology. He was one of Apollo’s sons, sharing with Apollo the epithet Paean “ the healer”. The rod of Asclepius (a snake entwined staff) remains a symbol of medicine today. Those physicians and attendants who served this god were known as the Therapeutae of Asclepius.
With him will be his five daughters:
- Hygieia – “Hygiene”, the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation.
- Iaso – The goddess of recuperation from illness.
- Aceso – The goddess of the healing process.
- Aglaea – The goddess of beauty, splendour, glory, magnificence and adornment.
- Panacea – The goddess of universal remedy.
There are so many fascinating elements to the garden that we will
enjoy detailing in the coming weeks, there’s lots more to be said about
the incredible sculptures, each is modelled on a real life meningitis
survivor, and each have captivating stories of their own!
We are now hard at work producing the various stone elements of the sculpture garden and soon there will be exciting progress to share on these aspects too.
Keep posted for more behind the scenes posts and diary entries on the RHS Chelsea 2016 Meningitis Now Futures garden journey soon.