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Burma Skincare Initiative Spirit of Partnership Garden

Sanctuary Gardens

The garden design tells the story of a global dermatological partnership which supports Burmese healthcare workers treating adults and children with terrible skin conditions. All of the plants in this garden are found in Myanmar and grow happily in the UK.

The challenging and disrupted environments in which the charity works are symbolised by the part-ruined stupa, overgrown and reclaimed by foliage. Textures such as bark, plants, moss and lichen are illustrative of the skin diseases affecting people supported by the charity.
 
A traditional Burmese stilt house made from recycled timber with a thatched roof, sits above a pool offering views of a cascading waterfall. A dry-stone bench is inspired by the 28th letter of the Burmese alphabet, la, which together with its accent forms the word Lar, meaning ‘coming together’.
 

At a glance:

Who is this garden for? 
A private garden for growing and enjoying.
Where is the garden set?  
A south-facing garden in the UK with a range of planting conditions.
Who or what is the design inspiration?
The landscape and character of Burma (also known as Myanmar).

The naturalistic planting combines contrasting textures and constrained colours, while edible and ornamental plants are woven together. Not a hero plant in the UK, broadleaf plantain is here in the garden to highlight its use in traditional Burmese medicine to treat skin conditions.
 

Key sustainability points:

  • The vast majority of plants will be sourced in the UK and grown using peat-free compost in recycled and recyclable pots
  • By using recycled and reclaimed materials, the garden is sensitive to both the current economic climate and the increasing need for sustainability
  • The garden includes many wildlife-friendly plants that provide food and shelter for birds, bees, and insects
  • Sustainable building techniques will include the use of dry bed foundations, dry stone walling, and the efficiency of construction and breakdown are considered in the design

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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.