Facing Fear, Finding Hope: in support of Crohn's and Colitis UK

A garden of symbolism and meaning using a mix of plants and original sculpture to illustrate the journey from dark to light taken by those suffering from and managing Crohn's disease

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Did you know...

  • Perennials are interspersed with spiky grasses to indicate the recurrence of the disease
  • A lower, circular garden bordered with lavender signifies the boundaries in which sufferers of Crohn's have to live
  • It's taken two years and more than 40 partners working together to bring this garden to life

About the Garden

Moved by the bravery shown by her son during a severe relapse of Crohn’s Disease, Denise Shields decided to raise awareness of the condition and the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK. Conversations with her son provided the initial inspiration for the garden design, which shares the story of an individual’s emotional journey through illness and remission.

The journey begins in Facing Fear, an uninviting place. A steel pergola, angular path and bubbling pool symbolise the confusion, loneliness and turbulence an individual can suffer when their condition erupts, while the plants’ dark colour and texture represents the intense sensations of fear and pain.

Steps draw visitors down into Finding Hope, a bright sunken area, reflecting the transition towards better health and confidence. A formal hedge marks the inner boundary; a reminder that Crohn’s Disease has no known cure and sufferers have to learn to manage the disease.
With thanks to: Marshalls; Lucas Engineering & Fabrication; Poplars Forge; Nicholas Romeril, Artist & Sculptor; Simon O'Rourke, Tree Carving Sculptor.

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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.