Mothers for Mothers at RHS Chelsea Flower showperinatal mental health support
Mothers for Mothers is delighted to have been selected to take part in this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Our garden is specially designed garden created to raise awareness about maternal mental illness. It is inspired by the theme of hope and reassurance and, as well as raising awareness around maternal mental illness, the project is aimed at drawing attention to the need for improved funding to support maternal mental health.
Maria Viner, CEO at Mothers for Mothers has said:
“The opportunity to have a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show gives us a platform to raise awareness about maternal mental illness, how it is so much more than simply post-natal depression and that families need and deserve support with mental health and emotional wellbeing issues at such a crucial time. We would like visitors to walk away seeing that it is possible to find your way back to yourself. For women who are struggling with their mental health and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy or after the birth of their baby there is support and understanding available. As well as highlighting the services Mothers for Mothers provide for women and their families in our own area, we hope there will be a ripple effect with us helping to promote other voluntary sector organisations similar to us in other areas of the UK.”
Our garden has been created by designer Pollyanna Wilkinson who, prior to working in garden design, volunteered as a counsellor for several years, including settings such as maternal mental health clinics and schools. Her previous achievements in garden design include receiving a Silver Gilt for her garden focusing on the mental health impacts of social media.
“As both a mother and qualified councillor, the Mothers for Mothers garden holds significant meaning to me,” said Pollyanna. “The design is a garden for mothers and is based on the idea of transition – from despair to hope. A cloister of bronze-toned walls and archways represent how long days at home with a baby can feel either like a sanctuary or a cage. A fractured pathway through the garden is surrounded first by muted, restrained planting which gradually transitions to a joyful, feminine palette depicting the road to recovery, supported along the way by other mothers with a similar lived experience.”
The story of the garden will not end at RHS Chelsea Flower show as we will be bringing the plants back to Hartcliffe City Farm to allow the local community to experience the garden and encourage visitors from other parts of Bristol.
Steve Sayers, CEO at Hartcliffe City Farm, said: “Recreating the garden at the Hartcliffe City Farm site will make a really iconic and beautiful addition to the gardens that local people can enjoy. The site will provide a place of tranquillity and calm that can be enjoyed by anyone and a point of interest like an RHS garden is a real draw.”
The garden is sponsored by Project Giving Back The garden is sponsored by Project Giving Back (PGB), a unique grant-making scheme that provides funding for gardens for good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. PGB was launched in May 2021 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on UK charitable fundraising. It will fund gardens inspired by a range of good causes at the
RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, 2023 and 2024. In 2022 PGB is supporting a total of 12 gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, all of which will be relocated to permanent homes after the show.
Supporting Mothers for Mothers with its events at the show is CBRE, the global commercial real estate firm, which has an office in Bristol.
Tom Morris, Managing Director, CBRE South West, said:
“CBRE is privileged to be able to support such a fantastic South West-based charity. I found out about the great work that Mothers for Mothers does through first-hand experience of a family member using their services. Ever since, I have supported the charity through fundraising, in partnership with the CBRE Charitable Trust. This opportunity enables us to really get behind the charity, not just financially, but also with the resources we can offer to assist in all aspects delivery and implementation. We look forward to working closely with all involved and giving Mothers for Mothers the platform it deserves to raise awareness on this important topic.”
About Pollyanna Wilkinson Garden Design
Pollyanna Wilkinson Garden Design: After a decade working in London in legal marketing, Polly retrained as a garden designer at the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden before setting up her namesake studio, based in Surrey. She later studied Horticulture at Merrist Wood. Prior to her career in Garden Design, Polly volunteered as a counsellor for several years, working in a variety of settings from schools, to bereavement charities and maternal mental health clinics. As both a mother and qualified counsellor, the Mothers for Mothers garden holds very significant meaning to her. Polly has previously created two other show gardens, both at Hampton Court Flower Show. In 2018 she earned a Silver Gilt for her garden focusing on the mental health impacts of social media (A very modern problem) and in 2019 she created a garden focusing on nature crafts, earning a Silver medal and People’s choice award. Polly’s design style is a mix of elegance and practicality. She works on all manner of gardens – from country estates to roof terraces across London and the South West.