An RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden telling the tale of a horse being rescued from a small, derelict stable and nursed back to health to live in a bright, open meadow will mark World Horse Welfare’s 90th anniversary next year.

Designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, the garden will recognise the work of World Horse Welfare — H&H’s 2017 charity of the year — over the past 90 years.

Chelsea is the ‘Oscars’ of the gardening world and to be able to exhibit at the highest level is an honour,” said Adam and Jonathan.

“It was after visiting one of the charity’s rescue and rehoming centres, meeting some of the horses that had been rescued from abuse and neglect and hearing some of their stories that we decided we definitely wanted to be part of the project to help shine a light on the plight of these amazing animals.”

The pair added that their brief was for a traditional garden that would encourage people to reflect on the issue of “invisible” horses.

“Their brief was a good fit for us as we are best known for our traditional, nostalgic gardens, using wildflowers and reclaimed materials that have an emotive message,” they said.

“After a bit of brainstorming we decided on a design that would tell a story of a neglected horse who had been rescued from a dark, derelict place and liberated into a safe and open meadow.

“We felt that we could create a memorable and beautiful garden that would convey a powerful emotion and a draw in visitors.”

The garden has been funded by a private donor and after the show, parts of it will be used as part of individual “In Memory” gardens at each of the charity’s rescue and rehoming centres.


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Emma Williams, World Horse Welfare’s director of fundraising, said they all hope the garden will be “thought-provoking and emotive”.

“We want to encourage people to reflect on the plight of neglected and abused horses and be inspired to join us in taking action to help them,” she said.

“Without the support of the public, we would simply not be able to continue our work and so the garden will pay tribute to all the people who support us in many different ways.”