The Garden

The garden brings Psalm 23 – 'The Lord is my shepherd' – to life.

About the design

‘There’s always a personal view on any garden I design,’ says award-winning designer Sarah Eberle. ‘I grew up around Dartmoor. Walking the lanes, I saw the way the light played in the ferns. It was incredible.’

So we know that the landscape of Dartmoor has been an inspiration for the Psalm 23 Garden. What else should we expect? 

‘The inspiration is about spirituality,’ says Sarah, ‘that sense of wellbeing, of arriving at a special place and a sense of being able to breathe, to feel comforted, to feel a sense of belonging, if you like.’

We can also, she adds, expect some visual hints from Psalm 23 itself. 

The garden, she says, ‘will stop people in their tracks’. Find out more, as Sarah tells us more about the design and the road to Chelsea next year begins. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join us on the road to Chelsea.

 


 How to interpret the Psalm 23 Garden

It’s been really exciting for me to watch behind the scenes as Sarah Eberle has developed the design of the Psalm 23 Garden, writes Hazel Southam, the garden’s project manager. 

Psalm 23 is so visual, it just cries out to be turned into a garden. Sarah’s used those visual cues in her design: the green pastures, still waters and the valley of the shadow of death. 

 

 

‘He makes me lie down in green pastures’ 

 

‘He leads me beside still waters’

 

‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil’

 

‘You prepare a table before me’ 

 

But she’s done far more than that. Her design takes us on the journey of life, about which the psalm speaks. The submerged rock at the front of the garden shows that even starting out on that journey can be difficult. 

The journey then continues in the sinuous path of granite, an inspiration from Sarah’s beloved childhood home of Dartmoor. It’s not a straight path. It twists and turns. It has ups and downs. 

But it culminates in a broad rock where you can just sit and rest at the journey’s end, which the psalm describes. 

When Sarah and I first chatted about this, more than a year ago, we didn’t just want to evoke the journey that the psalm talks about, but the spirit of it too. 

There’s a key line for me early on in the psalm which says, ‘He restores my soul’. I wanted people to feel that sense of restoration just looking at the garden. And Sarah’s drawn on the sense of restoration she felt, and still feels, in Dartmoor. 

We hope that, when you see it in 2020, you’ll love it, and whatever it says to you, that sense of restoration will be palpable. 


What next for the garden?

We’re excited to announce that the garden will find a permanent home at the Winchester Hospice, in Hampshire, which will open after the show in 2020.

Maddy Thomson, clinical matron of palliative and end of life care at Hampshire Hospitals, said, ‘The garden will represent such a special place for our patients and their families, who can enjoy precious moments together or perhaps find quiet reflection in this beautiful outdoor space.

‘We are absolutely delighted that we will be able to offer this as part of the care and support we provide, and know that it will make such a difference to the families being supported by Winchester Hospice.’