Together We Can, a sonic garden designed by Peter Eustance, with sound design by music students from Brunel University, performances by Evelyn Glennie, and in partnership with Papworth Trust, has made Chelsea Flower Show history with its unique acoustic approach and won a ‘Silver Gilt’ award at this year’s show.
Aimed at promoting the charity’s inclusive vision for disability, the garden reflects Evelyn’s passion and ability, and was particularly motivated by her fascination with the ‘sea music’ produced by the women of the Vanuatu Islands who create incredible rhythmic songs with just their hands, water and voices. The Together We Can garden concept combines Evelyn’s motto “Teach the World to Listen”, with the vision of Papworth Trust to “Help us create a world where disabled people are seen for what they can do”.
For a week every RHS Chelsea Flower Show visitor had the opportunity to visit and experience how the water marimba generated the garden’s acoustic pulse, harnessing natural materials of the landscape – water, sun, wood, earth, turning the garden itself into a musical instrument.
The garden’s backdrop was a natural woodland copse of birch and hazel, strikingly interwoven with features that evoked the equipment of a recording studio. In the foreground, water cascaded from the pool. Precisely sawn York stone set in concentric radial patterns resembled sound waves transmitting towards the audience. Green oak monoliths and solid benches sculpted to mimic the sinuous lines of the garden added to the acoustic pattern. Overall the form of the garden was reminiscent of the structure of the ear. Soft planting creating a diaphanous, dancing screen that swayed to the music, with floral soloists adding to the horticultural concerto.
Thank you Papworth Trust for overseeing the project and making it happen!
To know more about the garden, visit here.
To read the Papworth Trust’s daily blog on the garden, head here.
A video collection on how the garden came about, here.