Today is a double celebration for World Horse Welfare. Their artisan garden designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith has won a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 and this year the charity is celebrating its 90-year anniversary.
The garden is a traditional wildflower garden, telling the story of Clippy, a 12hh dapple grey pony who was rescued from terrible conditions and restored to health by World Horse Welfare. Kindly funded by a private donor, the garden aims to shine a spotlight on ‘invisible’ horses around the world whose suffering goes unnoticed or ignored.
World Horse Welfare CEO Roly Owers said, “While it was never the main aim of being here at RHS Chelsea, we’re tickled pink to have been awarded this medal, not least because it reflects all the hard work put in by our superb designers and their team. Our garden gives us such a brilliant platform to tell a story that so well reflects the thousands of horses who desperately need our help today. It also provides us with the perfect stage to celebrate our 90th anniversary and recognise all those who have helped us reach this milestone, whether this has been through fundraising events, supporting our campaigns, volunteering at our centres or leaving us a gift in their will. We’re here to highlight the importance of our work to existing and new supporters, and to inspire visitors to recognise the challenges facing so many horses around the world.”
The medal-winning design duo, Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, have grown hundreds of the wild flowers they have used at the show in their own back gardens. Jonathan Smith said, “It ‘s been a huge honour to design this garden for World Horse Welfare. We absolutely love working with British wildflowers and we don’t often have the chance to use poisonous ones in our garden so we’ve had great fun designing the area representing Clippy’s terrible living conditions. We’ve created a contrasting area representing his new pasture, showcasing horse herbs and beneficial plants.”
Visitors to the garden are able to see a life-sized sculpture of Clippy, made from horse shoes donated by famous equine personalities, and learn more about poisonous plants. The garden also features a special tribute to just some of the many supporters who have left the charity a legacy in their will, with their names carved into an element of the garden in tribute. Inspired by his unique name, visitors are asked to sign ribbons sewed onto leadrope clips with wishes for Clippy’s future.
The WHW garden could still win another award with your help! Click here to help the garden to win the People’s Choice Award.
To find out more about World Horse Welfare, please click here.