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The Natural Affinity Garden for Aspens 1088x612
For the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Aspens, a charity which supports people on the autism spectrum and with learning disabilities, is partnering with garden designer Camellia Taylor to create the Natural Affinity Garden, which will focus on the connection between nature and people's health and wellbeing.

The Natural Affinity Garden will exhibit in the All About Plants category at the show and is being sponsored by Project Giving Back, a philanthropic organisation that supports good causes to create RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens that are designed to leave a lasting legacy for the charities they are inspired by.

The show garden will encourage a connection with nature and maximise the benefits to visitors’ wellbeing by enabling them to engage with the seven senses (touch, taste, scent, sight, sound, movement and temperature).

The Natural Affinity Garden designer Camellia Taylor, who runs a garden and landscaping business The Garden Taylor, has a background in psychology and health care and has worked on previous projects with Aspens. The Natural Affinity Garden combines her passion for psychology with garden design.

In my previous career I worked with domestic violence and young people with complex needs. I have always felt passionate about the benefits of nature on the human condition

Camellia Taylor, Natural Affinity Garden designer

Every aspect of the Natural Affinity Garden design targets specific senses and each planting zone has been included for sensory stimulation.

The dominant use of green in the garden provides an overall feeling of calm for those with hyper-sensitivity (sensory avoidant) and subtle additions of purple and yellow provide stimulation and interaction for those with hypo-sensitivity (sensory seeking). The curved nature of the design reflects the neurons/plants roots spreading through the garden from the nucleus seating area.

The Natural Affinity Garden will serve as an important reminder of the healing power of connecting with nature and will be an invaluable asset to our community, where it will provide a haven for the people we support...

Robert Shanahan, Aspens’ Chief Executive

The garden will be wheelchair accessible and sustainability is at the heart of the garden design, with plants and hard-landscaping being locally sourced. The majority of the planting will be supplied by a peat-free nursery and the remaining ones from an off-grid nursery. Locally sourced landscaping materials used such as timber, stone and gravel will provide colour, richness and interest.

After the show, the garden will be relocated to Aspens’ Kent site to be used and enjoyed by the charity’s residents and visitors.

Read more about Aspens’ Chelsea Flower Show journey here.

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