The Panathlon Joy Garden

All About Plants

Colour, curves and the layout of the garden create a harmonious, balanced space. 

Conceptual depictions, such as curved tree stems, symbolise Panathlon’s objective to normalise difference. A winding path through the centre promotes inclusion, in addition to creating a sense of space.

The design also includes a fun and playful seating area with a distinct space for a wheelchair. Steam softened timber panels flow across the rear length of the garden.

At a glance:

Who is this garden for? 
This is an accessible garden for all.
Where is the garden set?  
Who or what is the design inspiration?
Joy and celebrating difference.

The garden shows how to create an uplifting and colourful planting scheme for a more joyful look and feel. The key message behind the garden is that joy is for everyone and that all children deserve the chance to enjoy life.

Key sustainability points

  • The timber structures will be constructed from British reclaimed timber, which we hope will help to raise awareness of this avenue for sourcing garden materials.
  • The haunchings will be constructed using Cem-free which is a cement alternative and aims to reduce, or eliminate the use of traditional cement, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The garden will include a diverse combination of plants which is helpful in promoting bio-diversity.
  • The mounds will consist primarily of ‘site-won’ soil i.e. left over soil sourced at the show from other gardens.


The garden is being relocated to a special school, Majorie McClure in Bromley, South London. The school takes children with complex medical needs and physical disabilities and has recently relocated to a brand new site.

BBC / RHS People’s Choice Award

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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.