Wellbeing gardens take shape at Wisley

Four gardens, all introducing a different aspect of green spaces and wellbeing, are to become an integral part of our flagship garden

Three exciting new gardens will be created around RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science, each one themed to highlight a different aspect of green spaces and wellbeing. The gardens will nestle around the Y-shaped building, which is now under construction, providing an interesting focus for visitors who want to create feel-good gardens themselves. 

Our new Back to Nature Garden, meanwhile, co-designed by the Duchess of Cambridge, is already open and highlighting the benefits of spending time outdoors for children and families.

The Wellbeing Garden

Designed by Matt Keightley, The Wellbeing Garden will be a series of ‘garden rooms’, enticing visitors to explore the many ways gardens, plants and garden design affect emotional wellbeing. Visitors will have the opportunity to be involved in experiments within our living laboratory garden to explore the impact of the garden on our senses and emotions. This will help to inform the design of a blueprint for designing an optimal wellbeing garden and highlight the importance of the distinct link between gardens and good health.

The World Food Garden

Ann-Marie Powell has designed a contemporary ‘plot to plate’ experience, inspired by world food and  using new innovations to invigorate and educate. These include an edible maze and an outdoor cooking demonstration area. The garden will be a space to tempt the taste buds and encourage visitors to grow their own home-grown food sourced from a diverse range of plants from all around the globe.

The Wildlife Garden

Drawing inspiration directly from the natural environments of the British Isles, Ann-Marie’s Wildlife Garden will demonstrate the association of nature and gardens, and the importance of including a range of plant diversity to support common British wildlife, especially declining species. The garden will also highlight the ecosystem and environmental benefits of the role that plants, trees and gardens have in mitigating against flooding and extreme temperatures.

Back to Nature children's garden

This permanent garden is inspired by show gardens co-designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. It is a wonderful place for families and friends to get outside and have fun in nature, while hopefully igniting a love for gardening and growing plants for future generations.

The Back to Nature Garden includes features from the original garden at Chelsea, including the hollow log and boulders from the waterfall, as well as a wildflower meadow, hidden burrow and rolling hill from the Hampton Court design. ​New play elements include a ‘bouncing forest’, where visitors can jump on trampolines surrounded by trees, two treehouses linked by a walkway with slides, and a living willow pod.

The new garden at Wisley is designed by landscape architects Davies White with the support and input of the RHS Horticultural Teams and built by contractors Gerald Davies. It aims to support The Duchess of Cambridge’s work to highlight how time spent in natural environments can help build the foundations for positive physical and mental wellbeing. These environments enable children to develop skills for life through free play, building confidence, strength, creativity and resilience.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.