Emma O'Connell & John Warland

Meet the designers of The Freedom from Torture Garden A Sanctuary for Survivors in the Sanctuary category at RHS Chelsea 2024

Emma O'Connell

The Freedom From Torture Garden will see the first collaboration between conceptual artist John Warland, and garden designer Emma O’Connell.

See the The Freedom from Torture Garden: A Sanctuary for Survivors

Emma O’Connell​

Emma O’Connell initially pursued her love of music, gaining a degree from Oxford University and working at the highest level in the development sector for international orchestras for ten years. In 2015 however, Emma returned to her first childhood obsession and retrained as a garden designer. Emma O’Connell Garden Design was launched a year later and her devotion to the plant world and eye for creative design, along with her ambitious and energetic attitude have flourished. 
Emma O’Connell Garden Design is an award-winning garden design practice creating stylish, sustainable, atmospheric green spaces which transform the way people live. With a strong eye for spatial design, outstanding horticultural knowledge and a reputation for exceptional attention to detail, the practice works closely with clients to create truly original gardens. EOGD undertakes projects from central London roof terraces to expansive country gardens. 

John Warland

Conceptual artist John Warland is the recipient of 6 RHS Gold medals, and has a simple manifesto to amuse, bewilder and ultimately produce works of beauty. Working in no specific studio style, the use of innovative materials and best horticultural practices deliver quirky, and often thought provoking spaces.  

Key works include exhibiting at Chaumont Festival Des Jardins and the creation of the Coronation Arch for Queen Elizabeth II on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle.


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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.