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PRESS RELEASE: Myeloma UK Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The Myeloma UK Garden by Gold medal winning designers breathes life into RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Press release // 17th January 2018

The Myeloma UK Garden by RHS Gold medal winning designers John Everiss and Francesca Murrell will breathe life into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 and is one of three major events that will mark the blood cancer charity’s 21 years of making myeloma history.

The Myeloma UK Garden was inspired by Peter King, a Myeloma UK supporter from Hertfordshire whose wife Gill and brother Graham both passed away in 2016 after a short battle with the cancer.

The garden is designed by John Everiss and sponsored by Bord na Móna Horticulture, Meyer Homes and The Christopher Laing Foundation and gives a positive message about the fight against myeloma, which is not yet curable. The large-scale head and shoulder sculpture at the centre of the garden is modelled on Peter and Gill King’s daughter Gemma Peace, from Helensburgh, Scotland, and represents the role of the carer, who is often a pivotal figure in ensuring the patient remains the central focus of a myeloma diagnosis.

The sculpture will weigh seven tonnes, be 12 feet high and constructed from layers of transparent blue Perspex® acrylic. The sculpture will be part-assembled before the show and, as the gates at Chelsea are nine feet high, will be fully constructed on the grounds. The garden is nearly 40 x 20 feet and will be in the Space to Grow section.

John and his team have used cutting edge technology to create this unique sculpture. First, they scanned Gemma’s head and arms to generate a very detailed 3D digital image, which was then turned into the slices of data used to create the multiple layers of the sculpture.

Stage One, who are known, amongst many other high profile projects, for building Thomas Heatherwick’s iconic London 2012 Olympic cauldron, will create the layers using Perspex® acrylic sheet.

Gemma’s left hand is pushing away boulders and bog oaks. These are physical representations of plasma cells, from which the cancer arises, as well as symbols of the barriers and the obstacles people face in care when they suffer with myeloma. The boulders weigh up to two tonnes each and have been supplied by Mid Wales Stone.

The bog oaks are perfectly preserved ancient trees provided by Bord na Móna Horticulture. Buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay, these trees are incredible specimens that still retain their bark and can date back hundreds, or even thousands of years. Francesca Murrell has created the planting design and has fashioned the bog oaks to appear as if they are disappearing into new fresh plantings, representing how new medicines, families and carers are taking over from the old generations.

Gemma’s right hand is cupped and she appears to be gently blowing seeds and plants onto fertile soil below, to represent new treatment and as a sign of hope and growth.

There is no defined path through the garden, purposefully mirroring the situation many myeloma patients face. Up to 60 different plants and trees feature across the garden including: Taxus balls, Prunus and Malus, Anthriscus sylvestris, Matteuccia struthiopteris and Melica nutans.

“2018 marks 21 years of Myeloma UK and we are proud to announce our first ever garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as part of our annual programme of events.

Our goal has always been to find a cure for myeloma but until that time, we exist to provide information and support to patients and carers alike.

The themes of our garden are care and hope which should both move and inspire visitors.”

Rosemarie Finley, Chief Executive of Myeloma UK

John Everiss, designer of The Myeloma UK Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, says:

“When Myeloma UK contacted me about doing this garden, I didn’t have a second thought about it. It’s been an amazing process and particularly enjoyable working with people that really believe in what they are doing.

The Myeloma UK Garden is a wonderful tool for telling a story and for getting people emotionally involved. I’m hoping visitors to Chelsea will come away from the garden knowing more about myeloma – and also how they can support the charity.”

Myeloma UK staff members will take part in building The Myeloma UK Garden and will be available at the show to provide information and to help promote awareness of the disease.

To find out more about Myeloma UK at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 and to download the press kit, please see the website.

Notes to Editors:

Myeloma UK is the only organisation in the UK dealing exclusively with myeloma – their ultimate goal is to find a cure.

They are dedicated to ensuring that patients get access to the right treatment at the right time, and to improving standards of treatment and care through research, education and awareness raising. They also provide a range of information and support services to patients, family and friends to help deal with a diagnosis of myeloma.

Myeloma UK receives no Government funding and relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and fundraising.

To find out more visit: www.myeloma.org.uk, or follow them on Twitter: /MyelomaUK and Facebook: /MyelomaUK.

About myeloma

Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer. It originates in the bone marrow and currently affects around 17,500 people in the UK. Whilst treatable, myeloma is not yet curable.

Treatment aims to control the myeloma, relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. It generally leads to periods of remission but patients inevitably relapse requiring further treatment. This is why it is vital that there is investment in research and support available to ensure the best treatment and care for myeloma patients.

Key facts

Every year 5,500 new cases of myeloma are diagnosed in the UK – that’s 15 cases every day.
Myeloma is a complex cancer with non-specific symptoms, which can make it difficult to diagnose.
In the last 10 years, with improvements in treatment and care, survival rates are increasing faster than most other cancers.
Despite this, myeloma has one of the highest rates of delay in diagnosis and one of the worst survival rates among all cancers.

The Myeloma UK Garden is sponsored by Bord na Móna Horticulture, Meyer Homes and The Christopher Laing Foundation and built by Peter Gregory Landscapes. Suppliers include Perspex® Brand (Perspex® is a registered trademark of Lucite International) and Mid Wales Stone. Stage One are creating the sculpture.

John Everiss is a RHS Gold medal winning professional garden designer and landscaper. For over 25 years, John has been designing and creating timeless yet practical spaces that allow people to enjoy and embrace a new garden experience, as well as more recently delving into the world of sculpture.

John has exhibited extensively at RHS shows. In 2017, he won Gold and Best Show Garden at RHS Tatton Park and in 2016, he won Silver Gilt and BBC People’s Choice Award for his Meningitis Now Futures Garden at RHS Chelsea. Since 2010, he has won four RHS Gold medals.

Awards:

2017: Slow the Flow, RHS Tatton Park, Gold and Best Show Garden
2016: Meningitis Now Futures Garden, RHS Chelsea, Silver Gilt and BBC People’s Choice Award
2015: The Evaders Garden by Chorley Council, RHS Chelsea, Silver Gilt
2014: Reachout Garden, RHS Chelsea, Gold
2011: Inside Out, RHS Tatton Park, Gold
2010: Wave Dance, RHS Tatton Park Gold
Francesca Murrell is a Gold medal winning RHS garden designer and an exceptionally talented and passionate plants woman.

Professionally trained with a creative arts background, Francesca has spent many years designing and advising on garden restorations around the UK and in France. For the last fifteen years, she has been in charge of a large estate in Sussex that has both a Sussex Heritage Award and a Society of Garden Designers Award. She jointly owns and runs the garden design studio Nature Redesigned.

Francesca has built gardens at RHS Chelsea, Hampton Court and Malvern Flower Shows. She won Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017 for Slow the Flow and in 2014 for The Potter’s Garden.

Download the press kit for the Myeloma UK Garden.