Thorp Perrow curator’s key role in Chelsea Flower Show silver award

Faith Douglas of Thorp Perrow surveys the finished garden.
Faith Douglas of Thorp Perrow surveys the finished garden.

Faith Douglas, Curator at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, near Bedale has played a key role in the build of the Welcome to Yorkshire show garden: ‘God’s Own County – A Garden For Yorkshire’ at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which was awarded Silver by the judges.

The garden which is designed by Matthew Wilson is inspired by the beauty of the Great East Window at York Minster – the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in the UK, and incorporates planting and landscaping designed to reflect the wider Yorkshire landscape as well as the minster.

Faith and a team of veterans from Help for Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre at Catterick, spent two weeks constructing and planting the garden.

In 2012, beneficiaries from Phoenix House helped create the Heroes Garden at Thorp Perrow with Faith, who also runs gardening activities at the centre. Beneficiaries regularly visit the Arboretum as part of their Health and Wellbeing course.

Faith said: “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work on the garden at Chelsea.

“It has been hard work, but hugely rewarding, especially seeing the veterans benefit so much from using the skills they have learnt as part of their recovery at Thorp Perrow and Phoenix House. We are all really pleased with the Silver Award.”

Help for Heroes Team Manager, Jill Grainge, said: “We are delighted to have the ongoing support of Faith and the team at Thorp Perrow.

“For some of our beneficiaries, gardening plays a big part in the recovery.

“Those who took part in the construction and planting of Welcome to Yorkshire’s garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, benefitted in all sorts of ways from learning new skills, working again as part of a team – something they are well trained for in military service, and gained a huge sense of pride and achievement, above all helping them regain confidence.”