Posh Gardens, Pimms and End of Life Chats

Posh Gardens, Pimms and End of Life Chats

A visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

We all know that the natural world can offer a safe and healing environment when we are feeling in the need of a green hug, that can, of course, extend into helping us with end of life discussions. In this review, we are exploring how this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show highlighted both the importance of talking about death, as well as the importance of having nature in our lives.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, one of the biggest flower shows in the world, attracts visitors from around the globe, including many notable figures like the King of England. However, the show isn’t just a display of beautiful flora. Many of the gardens that are created by landscape designers raise awareness of important issues, such as homelessness, biodiversity loss, and mental and physical health. After the show, the gardens are reassembled in places like, parks,  hospices and hospitals, providing patients with a healing environment. 

An area of focus this year was on the restorative nature of gardens and how they can positively contribute to our health and well being.  One of the most exciting gardens at the show in this regard was the Transcendence Garden created by Gavin McWilliams and Andrew Wilson for Memoria and Greenacres.  The garden was designed to explore end of life and our experience of grief, as well as to provide a safe space to enable people to connect and to enter conversations about end of life earlier rather than later.  It was also beautifully put together and I hope to visit the garden when it moves to its North Oxfordshire location after the show, so I can explore it more and get a real sense of how the design supports end of life discussions. 

The impact of the natural world on our health and wellbeing cannot be ignored. RHS Chelsea Flower Show show-cased how we can harness the natural environment to help us have those more difficult conversations around end of life and be better prepared.   At MyGoodbyes, we have been inspired by this and will shortly be producing a guide to hosting a MyGoodbyes picnic party.  Keep an eye out for it!