Chris Beardshaw explains how Great Ormond Street Hospital staff helped inspire his design of Morgan Stanley’s Chelsea Flower Show garden.
I am extremely pleased and excited to be working with Morgan Stanley for a second year to create a garden for the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show and what makes this project extra special is that this garden will have a long legacy after the show.
This year’s project reflects the close relationship Morgan Stanley has developed for close to a decade with one of the most prominent children’s hospitals in the world – Great Ormond Street Hospital. Loved by the nation for its dedication to children’s healthcare, the idea of designing a garden for the hospital to also showcase at Chelsea was such a wonderful opportunity and I couldn’t wait to get going!
My approach was to visit the hospital as soon as possible to meet with the estates department to discuss where a garden could be sited. By the end of the visit we had all decided on a space with the potential for a huge transformative effect – a low story roof garden at the heart of the hospital, on view from surrounding buildings on all sides.
As you can imagine, outdoor space in a busy London hospital is rare so finding this opportunity was the catalyst for the design process. Once we had the space we then needed to visit again to meet with clinicians, patient liaisons, educators and staff from all departments to discuss what would be helpful for the hospital.
These immersive sessions were instrumental in developing the design, as it was important to us that we could answer a genuine need and provide a green space that would be of value to the hospital and everyone who visits.
So whilst we were under pressure time wise to design a scheme and application to the RHS for the Chelsea Flower Show, what we needed to do first was design the garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital and then create our submission to the RHS. Double the work but worth the effort!