The 102nd Chelsea Flower Show opened yesterday at the Royal Hospital Grounds in West London with hundreds of beautiful, innovative gardens competing for prestigious awards such as “Gold Star” and “Best in Show.”
One of the most moving gardens comes from the green fingers of Ruth Willmott. Her sister-in-law Angela Willmott passed away in March 2014, following a battle with triple negative breast cancer (breast cancer that doesn’t have any oestrogen, progesterone or HER2 receptors), and Ruth was inspired by Angela to design a garden to raise awareness of the disease.
Working with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Cube 1994, Ruth designed a garden shaped like a DNA helix, with pools that ripple every 10 minutes to represent the alarming frequency of U.K. breast cancer diagnosis, and a steel sculpture of the female body by Rick Kirby to symbolise the “courage and dignity of all those fighting the disease.”
The garden’s plants, including pink flowers such as Iris sibirica and Myosotis sylvatica to represent breast cancer, are being sold to raise funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Yesterday Ruth’s garden was awarded a Silver Gilt Award at the Chelsea Flower Show. A well-deserved prize for a beautiful garden and yet another poignant reminder — via those serene, rippling pools — that funds are desperately needed to find a cure for breast cancer.
The Chelsea Flower Show runs until May 23.