Iconic Chelsea Flower Show garden moves to home of Florence Nightingale
In celebration of International Nurses Day, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show's award winning Florence Nightingale garden has been rebuilt at St Thomas' Hospital in central London
The Burdett Trust for Nursing’s award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden – The Florence Nightingale Garden – has been moved to a permanent home at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London.
The garden was created by garden designer Robert Myers to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and to celebrate the importance of the nursing profession in the 21st century. It was awarded a silver medal at Chelsea in September 2021.
With support from Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity, the Florence Nightingale Garden has been relocated outside St Thomas’ Hospital on the upper terrace of the Albert Embankment, with views across the River Thames to Westminster.
While almost all of the Chelsea Garden’s key features remain, including the signature 60-foot pergola, some design details have been reconfigured to ensure the new layout is suitable for the hospital site. The theme is ‘nurture through nature’, inspired by the idea that the shortest path to recovery leads through a garden. With shaded places to sit, water to engage the senses and late flowering perennials, grasses and bulbs, the garden will provide a place of respite and recovery for patients and staff.
Florence Nightingale was considered the pioneer of modern nursing and established the first professional nursing school in the world at St Thomas' Hospital – the Nightingale School of Nursing – in 1860. She was influential in the design of the new hospital that opened in 1872, and advocated the importance of green spaces, light and air in hospital settings.
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Abigail is a freelance writer and editor based in Hereford.
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