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Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s

By garden designer Darren Hawkes. The pioneering charity Maggie’s whose groundbreaking Cancer Caring Centres have revolutionised the concept of therapeutic gardens, is bringing its first Show Garden to RHS Chelsea with global law firm Linklaters and garden designer Darren Hawkes.

The “Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s” at RHS Chelsea was inspired by the progressive vision of the late Maggie Keswick Jencks, who understood the need for people with cancer to have access to restorative, tranquil green spaces away from more clinical hospital environments.

Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s by garden designer Darren Hawkes

Award-winning garden designer Darren Hawkes will create a peaceful, secret garden, enveloped in a three-metre high hornbeam hedge, that can be glimpsed through beautifully crafted wooden gates and wide slots in the perimeter hedge, before being fully revealed from a uniquely elevated position at the back of the site. The encircled garden will provide an exciting, unconventional space, one that is tranquil, yet engaging.

Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s by garden designer Darren Hawkes

A two-metre wide maze-like path will run alongside and behind the garden giving visitors the opportunity to walk within the garden boundary looking into the garden below. 

Several of the garden’s key features will come from a single cuboid of basalt concrete, broken apart to form concrete paving, benches, a garden building and a water feature, that can be reassembled as a single mass.  These elements will demonstrate how life can be put back together again when it has been blown apart following a diagnosis of cancer.

Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s by garden designer Darren Hawkes

The streamline use of a single landscape material in the garden has been designed to maintain the feeling of serenity in the garden and to reflect the same economy of resources that is apparent at the 19 existing Maggie’s Centres around the country.  The concrete will be treated with bespoke finishes throughout the garden with crushed concrete at ground level complimenting highly polished and acid-etched features for the concrete building, benches and water feature.

Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s by garden designer Darren Hawkes

Legacy Garden
Beyond the Show, plants and other elements of the Chelsea garden will be used to create a garden for the new Maggie’s Centre currently under construction at London’s Barts Hospital. The new garden, which has also been designed by Darren Hawkes, will have the same sense of enclosure and stillness as the Chelsea garden and provide a lasting legacy for the Charity when it opens later this year.

Linklaters Garden for Maggie’s by garden designer Darren Hawkes

The delicate, feminine planting will juxtapose with the harsh brutality of the concrete elements and bring a layer of scent and serenity to the garden. Under the canopy of a huge Amalanchier will nestle Hostas, Rodgersias, Thalictrum and Peonies.  In addition, the open spaces will be filled with Roses, Box, Elder and Iris.  The planting palette is soft and fragile with shades of pink set against the lavender and grey-green hues of the foliage.

Plant list


Acanthus spinosus
Macleaya microcarpa 'Kelway's Coral Plume'
Viola odorata
Tiarella cordifolia
Kirengeshoma palmata
Erigeron karvinskianus
Iris pallida subsp. pallida
Thalictrum delavayi 'Hewitt's Double'
Euphorbia schillingii
Geranium psilostemon
Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost'
Ligularia 'The Rocket'
Echium pininana
Asarum europaeum
Geranium palmatum
Selinum wallichianum
Pimpinella major 'Rosea'
Silene fimbriata
Mathiasella bupleuroides 'Green Dream'
Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) 'Brunette'
Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination'
Scleranthus biflorus
Hosta 'Krossa Regal'
Cenolophium denudatum
Verbascum bombyciferum
Geranium maderense
Acanthus mollis Latifolius Group 'Rue Ledan'
Iris confusa
Armeria maritima 'Alba'
Chaerophyllum hirsutum 'Roseum'
Geranium versicolor
Geranium nodosum
Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora 'Venus'
Leucojum aestivum
Anemone leveillei
Impatiens omeiana
Chrysosplenium davidianum
Thalictrum 'Elin'
Melica altissima 'Alba'
Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine'
Jeffersonia diphylla
Saxifraga hirsuta
Libertia ixiodes 'Goldfinger'
Rubus rolfei 'Emerald Carpet'
Saxifraga 'White Star' (x arendsii)
Epimedium 'Akebono'
Euphorbia donii 'Amjillasa'
Echium webbii



Dryopteris affinis
Adiantum pedatum
Woodwardia fimbriata
Polystichum munitum


Trees & Shrubs

Amelanchier lamarckii
Buxus sempervirens
Paeonia delavayi var. ludlowii
Carpinus betulus



Rosa glauca
Rosa 'Rambling Rector'
Rosa 'The Garland'
Rosa 'Jacqueline du Pre'
Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha


Annuals & Bulbs

Papaver commutatum
Triteleia laxa 'Koningin Fabiola'
Tulipa 'Spring Green'
Bupleurum rotundifolium
Allium nigrum
Datisca cannabina