Horatio’s Garden charity wins Best in Show at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023

Horatio’s Garden Chelsea, designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, has been awarded the coveted Best in Show title at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Designed for Horatio’s Garden, the Salisbury-based charity that nurtures wellbeing after spinal injury in vibrant sanctuaries in NHS spinal centres, Horatio’s Garden Chelsea is an adaptive garden that puts the priorities of all those with different mobility needs at its heart.

The first garden on Chelsea’s famous main avenue that has mobility needs at its heart will be relocated to the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre in Sheffield in 2024. It will be eight times the size of the Chelsea show garden and become the eighth and latest of the charity’s gardens at NHS spinal centres.

Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg from Harris Bugg Studio, said: “We are so delighted to win both a gold medal and Best in Show for this garden. From the very start, the charity’s mission really spoke to us. Connecting people with nature is at the heart of everything we do at Harris Bugg Studio and this garden reflects all the stories and needs of the people we spent months listening to before even picking up a pencil to design. This garden is a story of people coming together to make something very special. From the inspiring individuals that make up the transformative community that is Horatio’s Garden to all the dedicated and talented people that worked with us to create the garden – from the contractors to the skilled British craftspeople to the horticulturalists and planting team – the spirit of all of those people made this gold medal a reality.”

Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg

“It’s a really special garden for us because of the nature of the charity. Horatio’s is a charity about gardens and how they help on journeys of healing and so it feels absolutely right that it should win Best in Show. We are delighted for the charity, and we hope it helps to raise the profile of the incredible work they do and are delighted it will live on to form the heart of Horatio’s Garden Sheffield after the show.”

Dr Olivia Chapple, Founder and Chair of Trustees, Horatio’s Garden said: “To be presented with the Best in Show award feels incredible. We are so grateful to Project Giving Back for this wonderful opportunity and Harris Bugg Studio for pushing the boundaries and creating such a thoughtful, pioneering and exquisite garden. This will have such an important legacy in improving the lives of thousands of people in Sheffield and every donation helps us reach our target to make this garden a reality.”

Dr Olivia Chapple

Beginning its life at Chelsea Flower Show, before being relocated to its legacy home at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, the garden is the antithesis of a busy, clinical hospital setting with every element being informed by the experiences of patients with spinal injuries.

Planting is layered to accommodate different ways of seeing, a garden room provides welcome relief from the busy ward. Smooth, cement-free terrazzo paths are patient-friendly, environmentally-friendly and aesthetically beautiful, with a 77 percent reduced carbon footprint compared to regular cement.

RHS Chair of Show Garden Judges Marie-Louise Agius said: “The standard of the Show Gardens this year was extremely high. What particularly stood out about the Horatio’s Garden was how the design had been driven by the end user, to be experienced by spinal injury patients from a bed or wheelchair. The garden is uplifting, beautiful, and considered and for someone who has had a life altering spinal injury it will provide them with a wonderful sanctuary. The brief and the garden was delivered at an exceptional level.”

Marie-Louise Agius

View photos of Horatio’s Garden Chelsea