The 'Mind's Eye' Garden wins the BBC/RHS People's Choice Award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Post date: 
Friday, 23 May 2014

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the UK’s leading sight loss charity and leading residential property developer Countryside are delighted to have received the BBC/RHS People's  Choice Award following their earlier accolades of Gold Medal and the award for Best Fresh Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The concept for the Mind’s Eye Garden is the brainchild of designer Tom Prince, who makes his Chelsea debut this year alongside talented landscape architect Alex Frazier.  Together with the wider LDC design team, the young design duo (both aged 28) have worked closely with RNIB to ensure the garden is inspired by and reflects the experiences of sight loss by using textures, sounds, tastes and smells to stimulate all the senses. As a result, the garden can be enjoyed equally by blind and partially sighted people as well as those who can see. 
 
Tom Prince said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Mind’s Eye Garden has been awarded the People’s Choice Award and this is the icing on the cake after also receiving a Gold and Best Fresh Garden award. This is our first time at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and after months of hard work, to know that both the judges and the general public loved the garden is a fantastic feeling.” 
 
Karen Deacon, Director of Education and Social Care, RNIB, said:  "We are thrilled to have received the People's Choice Award for our garden and have been extremely touched by the lovely comments we've had throughout the entire week. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote and congratulate everyone who has been involved in the development of the garden, especially our exceptionally talented designers Tom and Alex from LDC as well as our sponsors Countryside who have made the whole project possible."
 
A host of celebrities including Jerry Hall, Brendan Cole, Jennifer Saunders and Anna Maxwell Martin visited the Mind’s Eye Garden earlier in the week and showed their support for RNIB, while sampling a special fennel, mint and thyme flavoured ice cream inspired by the aromatic herbs and vegetables from the garden. 
 
The semi-walled garden, named after the human ability to visualise scenes and images without the need for sight, takes inspiration from an Islamic walled garden and the artwork of Ben Nicholson and Piet Mondrian. It features an impressive glass cube water feature, a raised walkway and vertical planting including an edible wall. 
 
The garden was inspired by a joint scheme between Countryside and RNIB to redevelop the existing RNIB Community Living Service facilities at Redhill, Surrey.  Currently in planning, this innovative scheme will produce a model for integrated supported living, which will be unique in the UK and will provide an environment to benefit the whole community.  Properties for RNIB residents will be built amongst houses available for private sale, to ensure an integrated and vibrant community and there will be a wide range of community facilities.  After the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, elements from the Mind's Eye garden will be used within a sensory trail throughout the Redhill re-development which will form a key part of RNIB's educational programme. 
 
The garden was built and managed by Dave Fountain Designs and Pulham Garden Crafts, and the illuminated floor artwork was by Ben Rousseau of www.rousseau.co.uk
For further information about The Mind’s Eye Garden please visit rnib.org.uk/chelsea14

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Susan Fiddian or Jessica Hall in the RNIB press office on 0207 391 2290 or susan.fiddian@rnib.org.uk / jessica.hall@rnib.org.uk  
For further information about Countryside, please contact Zoe Murzell at Oracle PR on 020 8394 2821 or zoe@oraclepr.co.uk 

About RNIB

RNIB is the leading charity working in the UK offering practical support, advice and information for anyone with sight difficulties. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit rnib.org.uk  

About LDC Design

LDC Design, established in the late 1980s, is an experienced landscape practice registered with the Landscape Institute. The design team members for the Chelsea Fresh Garden are Nigel Prince (Design Director), Rick Rowbotham (Landscape Architect), Alex Frazier (Project Landscape Architect), and Thomas Prince (Trainee Landscape Architect).
 
Notable projects include The Royal Albert Dock, London (awarded the Landscape Institute Biennial Design Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement), Johnsons Draw Dock (Civic Trust Award), NT Hatchlands (Garden Restoration), Hockeylands Farm, The London Home Office, Ewhurst Park Gardens (with Colvin & Moggridge), Market Place Plaza - Kettering, Irwell River Park - Manchester and Imperial War Museum – Manchester.
 
Visit www.ldcgardens.co.uk and www.landscapeforum.co.uk.

About Countryside 

With over 50 years’ experience of creating award winning new homes and communities for people from all walks of life to enjoy now and in the future, Countryside has extensive expertise in creating bespoke solutions for specific projects. With a £5.1 billion nationwide development programme, the main areas of operation are London and Thames Gateway, the South-East, East and North-West of England.  During 2013 Countryside completed 1,560 new private and affordable homes, of which 858 were private completions.  One of the Group’s key aims is to build high quality new homes where people want to live.  This reflects the Government’s action to encourage house builders to improve building quality and to engage more effectively with local communities.

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