The Breast Cancer Now Garden: Through the Microscope

Inspired by the calm, precise way in which scientists work, this garden is a journey through the microscope from blurred beginnings to sharp resolution

Fresh Gardens

From the garden

  • Jagged stone 'cells' are hidden among the pretty planting to mimic the stealth of cancer
  • Visitors can stand on the microscope slide - a water feature in the center of the garden
  • Plants range from the miniature Dichondra micrantha at the front of the garden to the stately angelica at the back
  • When you look at the garden, the forward planting actually appears to be blurred, while the taller plants at the back appear in sharp focus

At the garden

The Breast Cancer Now Garden: Through the Microscope is a space for a small team of research scientists. The garden draws inspiration from breast cancer researchers working in the lab, in particular looking through their microscopes in their quest to stop breast cancer taking more lives.

The garden shows a future where all cells viewed through a microscope are healthy. Jagged rocks at the front of the garden depict breast cancer. The three vertical circles represent microscope lenses aligned to focus on a black microscope slide at the back of the garden and a circle of magnified healthy cells. At the back of the garden, scientists can sit on organic cellular-shaped seats and the back wall is a surface on which to draw and share ideas. The planting scheme and cell shapes illustrate the idea of magnification. Planting at the front of the garden has small and medium foliage with larger foliage at the back.

All Show Gardens

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.