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A Dogs Life Garden

Dogs Trust designs a ‘secret’ garden for dogs at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show designed by acclaimed garden designer Paul Hervey-Brooks.

A Dogs Life Garden RHS Hampton Court 2016

Paws will be padding into Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next month (July 5th-10th) as Dogs Trust - the UK’s largest dog welfare charity - unveils the show’s first ever garden designed especially with dogs in mind. Celebrating the charity’s 125thyear, the garden marks Dogs Trust’s commitment to finding loving homes for thousands of abandoned dogs every year.

Designed by acclaimed designer Paul Hervey-Brooks and entitled ‘A Dog’s Life’, the garden will be a space for both people and dogs to enjoy together with dog friendly features woven into the fabric of the garden without dominating the design.

A Dogs Life Garden RHS Hampton Court 2016


The garden is inspired by the charity’s sensory space at its West London rehoming centre, which provides exciting areas to forage, exercise and explore and aims to enrich the lives of the dogs in the charity’s care whilst they await new homes. Dogs Trust has created this garden to promote its rehoming efforts and to encourage more people to support the charity’s work. Many of the garden’s features, including the trees, pavilion, sculptures and some of the plants will be ‘rehomed’ at Dogs Trust West London for dogs and visitors to enjoy.

A Dogs Life Garden RHS Hampton Court 2016

Dogs Trust’s garden will include the following features:

  • Diverse planting to reflect the range of dogs you could meet at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre. The mix includes hybrid plants as a reference to the various dog breeds taken in and rehomed by the charity and perennial plants to reflect the charity’s promise to never put a healthy dog to sleep
  • Sniffer tracks subtly marked out within the planting for dogs to discover and stop for a rest
  • Tunnels in various sizes woven into the herbaceous borders for dogs to explore
  • Two water features, including a large still rill representing the abandonment faced by stray dogs and another that provides running water for dogs to enjoy
  • A snug pavilion located at the rear of the garden in which dogs and their human guests can survey the landscape. The durable materials used reflect the ‘forever home’ sought by dogs being looked after by Dogs Trust. A shadow of a dog and owner will be projected inside this structure
  • An area for dogs to enjoy digging and trees that provide shelter and places to forage and search for toys and treats
  • A modern mix of sculptures positioned in the large water rill and around the water will illustrate the playful character of dogs

A Dogs Life Garden RHS Hampton Court 2016

The sponsors hope the garden encourages visitors to learn more about their rehoming work, whilst also inspiring people with subtle ways to make their own garden a welcoming space for dogs. Dogs Trust cares for 17,000 dogs every year through its network of rehoming centres in the UK and Ireland.

Dogs Trust RHS Hampton Court Flower Plant List:

Ajuga reptans
Alchemilla mollis
Angelica archangelica
Hosta 'Francee'
Anthemis tinctoria 'E.C. Buxton'
Aruncus dioicus
Asplenium scolopendrium
Atriplex hortensis var. rubra
Verbena bonariensis
Stipa gigantea
Stipa tenuissima
Dryopteris erythrosora
Thymus vulgaris
Cynara cardunculus
Centaurea cyanus
Dryopteris filix-mas
Erigeron karvinskianus
Foeniculum vulgare
Pittosporum tobira
Calamagrostis brachytrich
Hosta 'Sum and Substance'
Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant'
Salvia officinalis
Cephalaria gigantea
Agastache 'Blue Fortune'
Salvia uliginosa
Hosta 'Big Daddy'
Alchemilla erythropoda
Sedum telephium (Atropurpureum Group) 'Purple Emperor'
Matteuccia struthiopteris
Gillenia trifoliata
Ammi majus
Carex comans bronze-leaved
Agapanthus 'Back In Black'
Physocarpus opulifolius 'Lady in Red'
Agastache 'Black Adder'
Sanguisorba albiflora
Campanula persicifolia
Aster lateriflorus 'Lady in Black'
Panicum virgatum 'Northwind'
Salvia sclarea 'Vatican White'
Cosmos 'Yellow Garden'
Kniphofia 'Sunningdale Yellow'
Dichroa febrifuga
Mentha (any perennial variety)