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Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden

Designed by brothers Hugh and Howard Miller, the Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station is a woven landscape; it is about weaving together the young and old, green and urban, play and learning and Alder Hey Children's Hospital with its community. At its core is the aspiration to inspire children to lead active, healthy, pleasurable lives. The garden is infused with the magic of discovery inherent to foraging.

Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2022 by garden designers Howard Miller and Hugh Miller

Designed by brothers Hugh and Howard Miller, the Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station is a woven landscape; it is about weaving together the young and old, green and urban, play and learning and Alder Hey Children's Hospital with its community. At its core is the aspiration to inspire children to lead active, healthy, pleasurable lives. The garden is infused with the magic of discovery inherent to foraging. Visitors first encounter the garden as nostalgic glimpses through rampant, blossoming hedgerows. Within, a sense of freedom prevails; explore, 'leave the path', get lost in your own world. A design language of woven forms associated with foraging are abstracted into a woven landscape. Precast concrete 'strands' make up a picnic blanket laid over an undulating landscape with edible herbs growing through.

Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2022 by garden designers Howard Miller and Hugh Miller

Howard Miller said “We were really keen to work with Alder Hey to make a garden that celebrates the amazing work they do supporting children and their families. We’re a family business, local to the Hospital and many of our family and friends have benefited from Alder Hey’s care; they’re a big part of our community. It’s a real privilege too that we can move the garden back to Alder Hey where it will become a living resource for children and medical practitioners to use for social prescribing and other informal therapies.”

Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2022 by garden designers Howard Miller and Hugh Miller

The importance of mental wellbeing, particularly in children, has been thrown into the spotlight during the pandemic and although this garden is outwardly about foraging, it uses this theme to address the issue of children’s mental wellbeing in an accessible and light touch way. The NHS’s 5 steps to mental wellbeing are all facilitated within the garden. These are: connecting with people, being physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and mindfulness – paying attention to the present. The whole ethos of the garden reinforces this theme, from the way things have been designed with the child at the centre, the feast of opportunities to learn and pass on knowledge about forgeable plants and bush crafts to the mindfulness intrinsic in some of the hand-crafted features.

Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2022 by garden designers Howard Miller and Hugh Miller

The planting scheme is drawn from species naturalised to the UK, that flower in late May and provide a contribution as forage to the garden’s users. The garden is not intended to be a re-creation of pastoral scenes of yesteryear but rather a stylised remembering of orchards, meadows and blossoming hedgerows. It is intended to awaken the excitement of exploring a new rich world packed full of edible wild goodies to discover. The colour scheme is inspired by apple blossom; whites, creams and blush pinks. The Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden is one of 12 Show Gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 that has been funded by ‘Project Giving Back’ to promote good causes while supporting the horticultural industry.\

Alder Hey Urban Foraging Station Garden Chelsea Flower Show 2022 by garden designers Howard Miller and Hugh Miller

The garden will be relocated to the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital campus in the summer of 2022. It will be positioned just outside the entrance to Sunflower House, a new building dedicated to children and young people’s mental health services, which is due to open in the spring of 2022 and forms part of wider plans to create a unique paediatric healthcare campus.

Plant List

Under Hedge 

Asplenium scolopendrium
Athyrium filix-femina
Borago officinalis
Symphytum officinale
Asplenium trichomanes
Dryopteris filix-mas
Polypodium vulgare
Blechnum spicant
Rosa canina
Galium odoratum
Primula veris
Luzula nivea
Saxifraga umbrosa
Digitalis purpurea
Jasione montana
Allium ursinum
Clematis vitalba
Melica uniflora
Alliaria petiolata
Plantago lanceolata
Filipendula ulmaria
Geranium phaeum 'Lily Lovell'
Trifolium pratense
Hedera helix
Rubus idaeus 'Twotimer Sugana'
Lamium maculatum 'Album'
Rosa spinosissima
Filipendula vulgaris
Luzula sylvatica
Geranium pyrenaicum
Rubus fruticosus
Lonicera periclymenum
Teucrium scorodonia
Humulus lupulus 'Centennial'

 

Meadow Orchard

Angelica archangelica
Bellis perennis
Myrrhis odorata
Foeniculum vulgare
Lychnis flos-cuculi
Verbascum thapsus
Hesperis matronalis
Ammi majus
Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'
Pimpinella major 'Rosea'
Pilosella aurantiaca
Alopecurus pratensis
Valeriana officinalis
Chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseum'
Anthriscus sylvestris
Meum athamanticum
Silene latifolia
Daucus carota 'Dara'
Stellaria holostea
Myosotis arvensis

 

Picnic Blanket

Armeria maritima
Thymus vulgaris
Chamaemelum nobile
Erigeron karvinskianus
Mentha requienii
Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'
Petroselinum crispum
Fragaria vesca
Mentha spicata 'Moroccan Mint'
Thymus Coccineus Group
Allium roseum
Thymus pseudolanuginosus
Origanum vulgare 'Compactum'
Dianthus deltoides
Papaver dubium subsp. lecoqii 'Albiflorum'
Nigella damascena 'Miss Jekyll Alba'

 

Bog

Caltha palustris
Cardamine pratensis
Myosotis scorpioides
Juncus effusus f. spiralis
Butomus umbellatus
Cyperus longus
Ranunculus acris
Typha latifolia
Veronica beccabunga
Geum rivale
Hydrocotyle vulgaris
Mentha aquatica
Alisma plantago-aquatica
Trollius europaeus
Carex grayi
Succisa pratensis
Nasturtium officinale
Stachys palustris
Acorus calamus
Samolus repens
Scrophularia auriculata

 

Transition between Bog and Meadow Orchard

Alchemilla mollis
Rumex acetosa
Primula veris
Stachys officinalis
Silene vulgaris
Centaurea nigra
Trifolium pratense
Trisetum flavescens
Lotus pedunculatus
Cynosurus cristatus
Festuca ovina

 

Other

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'
Astrantia 'Roma'
Lythrum salicaria

 

Trees

Mespilus germanica
Acer campestre
Corylus avellana
Sambucus nigra
Cydonia oblonga
Prunus spinosa
Crataegus laevigata 'Paul's Scarlet'
Crataegus monogyna
Malus sargentii
Malus sylvestris
Pyrus communis (any variety)
Morus alba
Corylus avellana 'Fuscorubra'
Sorbus aucuparia 'Beissneri'
Sambucus nigra (any variety)