‘Best in Show’ garden relocating to Glasgow after RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Hot on the heels of receiving the two most prestigious awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show – a Gold medal and Best Show Garden – it has been revealed that the Muscular Dystrophy UK Forest Bathing Garden will be relocated to Scotland after the show ends in London on Saturday 25 May. The garden’s new home has been confirmed as The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow.

The garden was made possible thanks to funding from Project Giving Back, a charitable organisation that supports gardens for good causes at RHS Chelsea and, following the show, in communities around the UK. This generosity and support enabled garden designer Ula Maria to create something unique for Muscular Dystrophy UK – the leading charity for more than 110,000 people in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions.

Ula Maria created the award-winning Forest Bathing Garden based on the personal experiences and stories she had heard from the Muscular Dystrophy UK community. She wanted to design a garden that showcased how an outdoor space can provide a safe, sanctuary-like environment to support patients and their families during their most challenging times. This garden is an accessible place to give comfort and clarity, to reconnect with oneself and nature or encourage conversations with others.

Features of the garden include a flint wall with a pattern reminiscent of muscle cells, more than 50 birch trees to create an immersive birch grove atmosphere and reclaimed smooth clay pavers to ensure the garden’s accessibility.          

The last day of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 is Saturday 25 May. After that, the garden will be transported 400 miles north to Glasgow, where it will be carefully replanted at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice on land that was donated to the hospice by Glasgow City Council.

“I’m delighted that the garden will be going to a hospice and can’t think of a better place,” said garden designer Ula Maria.  “It means a lot to me to know that the garden will be given a new lease of life and have a positive impact on the local community. I’m really happy and can’t wait to see it in its new home.”

Explaining the significance of the garden’s relocation, Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive at Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “It was always the intention that our garden would go to a location that would benefit those living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions, as well as the wider community. We believe this hospice is an ideal place as it provides care and support for people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, such as cancer, lung disease or neurological conditions like muscular dystrophy; and our charity is delighted to provide support alongside the staff there.

“We’re looking forward to seeing our Forest Bathing Garden relocated to The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice after the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The Chair of our Scottish Council, Sheonad Macfarlane, works as a doctor at the hospice so that’s a really nice link to our community. We hope the garden will provide a calm space that everyone can benefit from.”

Rhona Baillie OBE, Chief Executive at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice said: “We’re thrilled to provide a permanent home for the Muscular Dystrophy UK Forest Bathing Garden and know that it will make a real difference to our patients, their families, and the wider community. Hospice care is all about helping people to live as fully and as well as they can to the end of their lives, however long that may be – looking after their physical needs but also their emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing.

“We know that being outdoors has a positive impact on both mental health and physical wellbeing and this garden will provide a unique outdoor environment for everyone to enjoy. It’s a privilege to welcome a ‘Best in Show’ garden to Glasgow and we’d like to say a huge thank you to both Muscular Dystrophy UK and the garden funders Project Giving Back for making this possible, as well as The Malcolm Group for helping to transport the garden.”

Find out more about Muscular Dystrophy UK at musculardystrophyuk.org

Garden images by India Hobson

About muscle wasting conditions  

  • Living with a muscle wasting and weakening condition can be exhausting, stressful and lonely. With endless medical appointments, physiotherapy, treatments, and respiratory support.
  • Progressive conditions get worse over time. They can cause difficulty walking. Trouble swallowing. Breathing complications. Pain. Heart problems and failure. Life can be more challenging. Or cut short.

About Muscular Dystrophy UK 

  • We’re the leading charity for over 110,000 people in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions.
  • We share expert advice and support to people living with muscle wasting and muscle weakening conditions so they can live well now.
  • We fund groundbreaking research to understand the different conditions better and to lead us to new treatments.
  • We work with the NHS towards universal access to specialist healthcare.
  • Together, we campaign for people’s rights, better understanding, accessibility, and access to treatments.
  • We’ve already made advances that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago, and we’re determined to go even further and faster.
  • We support people with muscle weakening and wasting conditions through every stage of their life. From the point of diagnosis to living the best life possible.
  • Together we are stronger. Together we are Muscular Dystrophy UK. Join us. 
  • For more information or to help support our work, visit org or call our free helpline on 0800 652 6352 (open Mon–Thurs 10am–2pm).