World Child Cancer Nurturing Garden receives first RHS Environmental Innovation Award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

Today, at the Preview Day of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, first time garden designer Giulio Giorgi and Garden Contractor Landesigns received the inaugural RHS Environmental Innovation Award in recognition of the efforts they have gone to in order to reduce the environmental footprint of the World Child Cancer Nurturing Garden at this year’s show.  

The new award, which was open to all those in the Show and Sanctuary Garden categories at this year’s show, was introduced to recognise and celebrate the innovative ways designers and contractors have reduced the environmental impact of the gardens they have created.

The judging panel, which consisted of Malcolm Anderson, RHS Head of Sustainability, Liz Nicholson Managing Director at Nicholsons and Paul Cowell Chartered Landscape Architect, were unanimous in their decision.

About the winners Malcolm Anderson, RHS Head of Sustainability said; “It was a really difficult decision to make but we felt the World Child Cancer Nurturing Garden stood out as a beautifully simple example of merging old techniques with new, where Giulio has used 3D printing to create traditional keyhole gardens. The garden has been created using products made entirely from soil and timber and in its construction no power tools have been used, only hand tools, so it is a fine example of how we can design and build gardens more sustainably in the future.”

“This year has marked something of a seismic shift in the way the gardens have been designed and built, yes, we can always do better and there is always something new to learn. But we should all take a moment to celebrate the sustainability stories embedded in this year’s gardens.”

Eleven gardens applied to be considered for this award, which were judged according to seven criteria including construction, overall innovation, and biodiversity. This involved judges considering end of life plans for the gardens, whether materials can be reused, and how it will benefit the community and environment in its final location.

Innovations commended by the judges in the other gardens considered for the award included the use of hemp in the construction of the Stroke Association’s Garden for Recovery designed by Miria Harris and built by Mark Gregory of Landform Consultants, which also included a prototype hemp composite paving never been tried at the show before. The judges were also particularly impressed with how designers Tom Massey and Je Ahn along with Landscape Associates created the WaterAid Garden with its relocated site at the forefront. The garden has the potential to make a difference globally as plans for the rainwater harvesters in the garden will be freely available from WaterAid so that these can be replicated anywhere in the world. 

RHS Director General Clare Matterson said: “The efforts all designers and contractors at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show have gone to in order to reduce their gardens impact on the environment should be commended and demonstrates fantastic progress and a huge shift forward as we continue to work collaboratively on our journey to make the show and indeed the whole industry adopt more sustainable practices in garden design. Thank you to everyone involved and we look forward to seeing many more creative sustainable innovations in the future.”

The rest of the RHS medals will be awarded tomorrow, Tuesday 21 May when the show opens to RHS Members.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21-25 May 2024.


For more information, interviews and images please contact the Shows PR Team at [email protected]
More information on all the gardens including the World Child Cancer Nurturing Garden can be found here: RHS Chelsea Flower Show - Information for press & media / RHS Gardening
All gardens in the Show and Sanctuary categories at this year’s show went through The RHS Environmental Innovation Award.

Notes to editors

RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsored by The Newt in Somerset
Dates: 21-25 May 2024
Location: Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR    
About the RHS
Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. 

We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.  

Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.
Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings. For more information visit  

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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.