Health and wellbeing at Tatton

A theme of relaxation and wellbeing flowed through the Back to Back Gardens, offering take-home trends to promote a sense of tranquillity


Relaxation, Meditation

Relaxation is very important, particularly as our lives grow busier, and can really improve our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Our gardens provide such an important place for us to sit, enjoy plants, read, contemplate and perhaps meditate - switching off from everyday life without technology and releasing any tension. 

The Back to Back Gardens at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park incorporated some elements, illustrated below, that we can take home to re-create in our own gardens, enabling us to create a perfect relaxing haven. 

Scented planting 

Arley's Thyme to Retreat
Cholmondeley Castle Gardens: Spinning the Silver ThreadGreen Dreams

Scented planting is a simple way to provide calming effects for the human body. The gardens incorporated thyme, sage, fennel, lavender and mint around the pathways, instantly putting us at ease and producing scent when stepped upon. Scented sweet peas weaved around the metal seating in the Arley's Thyme to Retreat garden and star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) climbed the boundary walls of the Macmillan Legacy Garden enveloping the circular seating area in warm summer scent. 


Macmillan Legacy Garden
Relaxation, MeditationCholmondeley Castle Gardens: Spinning the Silver Thread

Water features in three Back to Back Gardens gave very different takes on the traditional water feature. The Macmillan Legacy Garden used a contemporary glass 'wishing well' as a contemplative structure that produced colours and reacted with light which aid relaxation. Red clay half pipes attached to a whitewashed wall in the Relaxation, Meditation garden created the sound of water lapping and moving. Designer, Paul Morris wanted the sound to merge with the calming colour scheme so that people felt more at ease and able to meditate comfortably. Finally, the water in the Cholmondeley Castle Gardens: Spinning the Silver Thread was dark and surrounded by ferns and flowering plants to attract wildlife and pollinators. Gardeners can gain a great sense of wellbeing from interacting with nature in an environment that they have cultivated themselves.

Relaxed seating areas 

Arley's Thyme to Retreat
Relaxation, MeditationGreen Dreams

Relaxed seating is one of the key things that can be added to the garden to let us sit and rest, whether it becomes the central focus or is tucked away against a boundary wall. In the Arley's Thyme to Retreat garden, a metal bench was softened by cushions and rested on York paving, surrounded by a circular metal arbour. It was designed by James Youd to create a calm and peaceful retreat. Relaxation, Meditation used white washed walls and white granite to create seating that was more light in colour, restful and curved. It incorporated a cushioned seat with a line of cushions along the back to sink into. Green Dreams, designed by Sue Beesley and Will Parks, featured a circular day bed in the centre of the garden with crisp white linen that invited visitors to lay back and enjoy a 'spa' day in their own home. 

For further inspiration about health and wellbeing in your garden, read more from the Health & Horticulture Conference.

Peace Garden

RHS Membership

Members enjoy early booking and discounted tickets to RHS Shows.

Join the RHS

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.