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RHS Chelsea garden inspired by breast cancer research


Following her success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015, Ruth Willmott returns this year with a special garden created for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now.

The garden, called ‘Through the Microscope: The Breast Cancer Now Garden’, is inspired by the work of Breast Cancer Now’s researchers. Breast Cancer Now is dedicated to funding research into breast cancer.

The garden draws inspiration from the work of breast cancer researchers working in the lab, in particular looking through microscopes in their goal to stop breast cancer taking more lives. The garden is laid out with three vertical circles as microscope lenses, which are aligned to focus on a black microscope slide at the back of the garden and a circle of magnified healthy cells. The planting scheme and circular cell shapes illustrate the idea of ‘magnification’. The planting and cell shapes increase in size from front to back of the garden with similarities in form, shape and colour.

The award-winning garden designer, Ruth Willmott, lost her sister-in-law Angela to triple negative breast cancer in March 2014. With this garden, Ruth wants to continue to raise awareness of breast cancer, but also raise awareness of Breast Cancer Now’s vital research and what the charity is doing to stop this devastating disease taking more lives in the future.

Ruth Willmott said “For me, gardening and nature have such power to heal, and creating a second garden to support Breast Cancer Now has once again felt like a form of positive action since losing Angela. But also, this experience has given me the opportunity to look deeper into the cause, and raise awareness of the incredible breast cancer research that is being undertaken across the UK. I hope this garden provides individuals and families effected by breast cancer with the hope that research will one day stop this heart-breaking disease taking the lives of those we love. If we all continue to stand together, supporting life-saving research, we will beat breast cancer once and for all.”

Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, said “We are delighted that Ruth, with the support of her donors and sponsors, will exhibit a second garden at RHS Chelsea 2017 for Breast Cancer Now. Breast cancer touches the lives of millions of people in the UK. Right now, more women are being diagnosed with the disease than ever before and nearly 1,000 women in the UK die from breast cancer every month. As a charity, we’re bringing together all those affected by breast cancer to improve the way we prevent, detect, treat and stop the disease. Ruth’s garden is a beautiful interpretation of some of the research our scientists are undertaking so we can move from a time when people fear breast cancer to a generation where everybody lives. Breast Cancer Now believes that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live. Together, with our wonderful supporters, we can make that happen.”

‘Through the Microscope: The Breast Cancer Now Garden’ will exhibit in the Fresh Garden category (Stand FR89) at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 23-27 May 2017.  All the plants and trees used in the garden will be available to buy during the show week to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now.