An emotional journey supporting loved ones with diabetes has inspired two garden designers to dream up a beautiful Show Garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2019.
Karen Tatlow and Katherine Hathaway have teamed up with Lichfield companies Ethan Mason Paving, Tippers Building Materials and MJL Garden Design, to create the first ever Show Garden to highlight diabetes.
The garden, called The Habit of Living, will be at the show which runs from May 9 to 12.
Karen from Karen Tatlow Garden Design in Lichfield has a step daughter with diabetes.
“Diabetes is a serious condition which affects 1 in 15 people in the UK,” she said.
“We hope our garden will highlight the struggle that people living with diabetes have from diagnosis to managing the condition well.
“We have made design references throughout the garden to the charity Diabetes UK and the experience of living with diabetes.”
The garden features beautiful Italian porcelain paving and walling donated by Ethan Mason Paving.
Director Mike Leeming said: “We are proud that a section of our new porcelain product range will be on display as part of this truly unique garden.
“Porcelain is very on-trend so was the obvious choice for this contemporary space in support of Diabetes UK.”
Tippers will be supplying building materials, equipment hire, transport and logistics.
The hard landscaping is being carried out by Mike Lote from MJL Garden Design.
Mike Lote said: “No show garden can be achieved without the collaboration of a professional, effective team – so to be part of a local collective and build a high-quality garden is right up my street.”
Other companies helping include Just Granite Ltd in Penkridge and metal fabrication company Urban Street Designs from Lancashire which is making all the steelwork.
The garden highlights the scale of diabetes, which affects more people than cancer and dementia combined.
Throughout the design there are references to Diabetes UK and the journey made by someone diagnosed with diabetes - from diagnosis through to managing the condition.
Karen said: “A darker, more difficult to navigate path leads to an easier, brighter pathway and the planting follows this journey, graduating from darker hues of plums and purples through to lighter shades of blues and whites.
“Sculptural metal graphs in the garden reflect the need for the continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels, their shape derived from genuine data downloaded from my step-daughter’s monitor and the elliptical water feature has jets that symbolise the frequency of diagnosis.”
And she added: “The light and dark porcelain cladding of the feature wall in the seating area, designed for quiet reflection with loved ones, reflects the highs and lows associated with managing the condition.”
The Habit of Living Garden will be showcased at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival from May 9 to 12.