#RHSHampton – Perennial Charity Sanctuary Garden

You can’t fail to be drawn in to Tom Massey’s vibrant garden at RHS Hampton Court. The colourful planting is like a magnet,  and who can resist a spiral path which leads to an oasis of calm. 

Tom’s Sanctuary Garden – for the charity Perennial- is all about the emotional journey a person makes from crisis to safety. Perennial is the only charity dedicated  to supporting everyone in the horticulture industry- and is therefore a cause close to my heart. I have made a living from horticulture for the last 25 years in one way or another. So a charity which helps the people I work with, is something I’m going to shout about. 

Tom’s garden is a colour wheel, 18 metres in diameter. The changing palette  poignantly symbolises the journey people face with difficulties such as illness, injury, poverty and debt.  At its outer edge, the plants are hot colours, representing the chaos of being at crisis point. Following the winding gravel path, plants fade to calmer colours of blue and green. It’s a representation of what happens when Perennial steps in to offer a helping hand- guiding people from tough times to safety. 

Hemerocallis Crimson Pirate, Helenium Moerheim Beauty, Crocosmia Lucifer and Dahlia Mystic Enchantment feature in the hot colour scheme.


As you walk though the garden, the planting becomes taller and more immersive with the colour scheme moving to stimulating yellows and oranges, representing hope.

Achillea millefolium Terracotta, Helenium Mardi Gras and Geum Totally Tangerine  are woven with grasses Molinia caerulea Poul Peterson and stipa  to form the orange swathe. The yellow planting band includes Kniphofia Lemon Popsicle and varieties of helianthus and helenium. 

I don’t think anyone could miss the message of hope in the sunflowers. They sing out amongst the grasses. 

Moving through the spiral of colours,  you come to restful purples and blues. It has a calming influence after the whirlpool of emotions you feel as you walk though this garden. I found it hard not to cry. 

Purple plants are  Veronicastrum virginicum Fascination (above) Nepeta Six Hills Giant and Verbena bonariensis. Blue shades feature Agapanthus Navy Blue (below) Agastache Black Adder and Blue Fortune, and Centurea cyanus Blue Boy.

Grasses in the blue section are Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster.

And finally as you follow the spiral path you reach the sanctuary of a green oasis. The sounds of the outside garden fade and it feels like a place of safety. 

Tom’s design highlights the difference Perennial makes to thousands of horticulturalists each year. It’s humbling to read the case studies. Heartbreaking accidents leaving families in dire circumstances. Perennial – a charity many people may not have heard of before- helps with financial arrangements, navigating the benefits system and being there as emotion support. A lifeline for anyone in need. 

Find out more about Perennial here . Click on the highlighted words or on http://www.perennial.org.uk 

Buy Products to support the charity at shop.perennial.org.uk

Get involved. Raise money at www.hortaid.org.uk

More about Tom Massey here. http://www.tommassey.co.uk

The garden was built by www.landformconsultants.co.uk 

Plants supplied by www.hortusloci.co.uk 

Stone bench www.londonstone.co.uk

Additional suppliers : Linden Turf, water feature The Pot Company, self binding gravel and steel edging AllGreen Group

More about RHS Hampton Court 

21 thoughts on “#RHSHampton – Perennial Charity Sanctuary Garden

  1. Pingback: #WorldMentalHealthDay | Bramble Garden

    • Really glorious planting, Gill. I just wanted to roll up the garden and bring it all home. Might save up for the water dish feature in the centre. Fell in love with that. I know just where I’d put it……

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mike. It was such a mixture of emotions. Sorrow at the plight of some poor souls who end up in crisis though no fault of their own. And then happy at the warmth and compassion offered by the charity. The planting was so inspiring, and you’d have loved the bright sunflowers. Thanks for reading and getting in touch. All the best. K x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I’m approaching the light at the end of term tunnel, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming feeling of emotion and joy at your wonderful post. I was only speaking to a friend today about how wonderful Perenniel is. Thankyou for portraying this in such a wonderful post.
    I hope you are well and enjoying Hampton court. xx


    • Thank you for your lovely comments. I thought the garden was spellbinding. Such a clever concept. It was immediately obvious what the garden was all about. Sometimes I struggle to understand the show garden themes. But this one was easy to see. I felt a lump in my throat as I followed the spiral path- following the journey from crisis to rescue. Some of the case studies highlighting the charity’s work is just heartbreaking. Perennial deserves all the publicity it can get, and I hope the garden wins the People’s Choice award -raising the profile even further. Thanks for reading and for your kind comments. It’s much appreciated. xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Muchas gracias Margarita. We are so fortunate such a wonderful charity exists. Much suffering and heart ache is alleviated by their good works. I’m glad to be able to support them in any way I can. I really hope they win the People’s Choice Award at RHS Hampton Court. Thank you as always for your kind comments and for reading my blog. All the best – karen


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