Popular show garden installed at Kettering hospice

A garden which attracted thousands of visitors at Hampton Court Palace has been recreated at Cransley Hospice in Kettering.

The contemporary wildlife-friendly ‘Urban Pollinator Garden‘, designed by Caitlin McLaughlin, was on display at the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival from Monday, July 1.

Caitlin McLaughlin

Caitlin McLaughlin

After the festival finished the garden then made a 95-mile trip to the hospice, so it can be enjoyed by patients and their families.

An official launch party to open the new garden will take place at the hospice, in London Road, on Thursday, August 1.

The project is being sponsored by Harrington-based Warner's Distillery – the maker of Honeybee Gin – which helped to fund the relocation of the garden to the hospice.

Jacqueline Cheung, marketing manager at Cransley Hospice, said: "We were so honoured to be contacted by Caitlin as the recipient of this breath-taking Urban Pollinator Garden.

Some of the flowers in the Urban Pollinator Garden

Some of the flowers in the Urban Pollinator Garden

"It’s unbelievable to think that the garden has made its way back to Kettering for patients, families and staff members of Cransley Hospice to enjoy for years to come.

"We can’t thank Thrift Landscapes and Warner’s enough for supporting the relocation of the garden back to our hospice."

The bee-friendly garden was designed by Northampton designer Caitlin McLaughlin, a director and garden designer at Thrift Landscapes.

It includes simple ideas for attracting pollinating insects to inspire city dwellers to create their own nature-friendly back gardens.

Designer Caitlin McLaughlin with Andrew Lenton and Josh Griffin from Bosworths Landscape Design

Designer Caitlin McLaughlin with Andrew Lenton and Josh Griffin from Bosworths Landscape Design

Designed to attract bees and other insects using practical features, the garden offers a place for people to relax, connect with nature and surround themselves with pollinators, without the complexity of maintaining beehives themselves.

Honeycomb shapes feature throughout, as well as a wall packed with twigs and branches. Hexagonal paving is dotted with printed tiles to identify entrances to underground 'bumble nests' and a wall also includes innovative 'Bee Bricks', which visitors can replicate at home.

The garden has links to sponsors Warner’s, which runs conservation and sustainability projects across the country, including Operation Honeybee, a series of initiatives designed to fortify the UK's pollinator population.

Caitlin said: “Built by Conway Landscapes, this garden represents the importance of pollinators, specifically bees, within our own gardens and the wider environment.

Some of the flowers in the Urban Pollinator Garden

Some of the flowers in the Urban Pollinator Garden

"Living in a city, it is sometimes easy to forget about wildlife and the role it plays within our ecosystem. This design allows people to have a contemporary garden that still caters for pollinators, providing them with food and nesting spaces. My aim is for it to have multiple take-home messages to allow other people to adapt or create in their own gardens.”

The planting scheme features colourful perennials, woven through different types of grass. Bee-friendly plants in purple, white and pink are used, including Campanula ‘Hemelstraling’, Astrantia ‘Superstar White Giant’ and Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’.

The Bee Bricks for the habitat wall have been supplied by Marshalls and hedging by Practicality Brown.

Caitlin is an award-winning designer who formerly worked at the Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens in plant sciences and conservation.

She realised her ambition to be a garden designer, forming Thrift Landscapes with her sister Tessa McLaughlin.

In 2016 Caitlin received a Gold Medal for her Nature and Nurture show garden at RHS Tatton and the RHS Young Designer of the Year accolade. She was the youngest of the three finalists to win the award that year. Following this, she was approached by Hillier Nurseries to gain experience on their 2017 RHS Chelsea garden, including mentorship from designer Sarah Eberle.

Caitlin McLaughlin

Caitlin McLaughlin

Some of the flowers in the Urban Pollinator Garden

Some of the flowers in the Urban Pollinator Garden

The new garden at Cransley Hospice

The new garden at Cransley Hospice