Being created for the Chelsea Flower Show 2016,
the Modern Slavery Garden looks forward to a day when there are no slaves
The Modern Slavery Garden won both Gold and the BBC / RHS People's Choice Award at the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The bright front doors and colourful planting illustrate the ordinary streets where we all live. But there is a darker centre to the garden, which hints at a hidden reality; people still being kept in captivity and forced to work, in every part of the UK today.
Hope stands in the form of an English oak tree; it was under such an oak that William Wilberforce stood when he dedicated his life to ending slavery in the 1800's. (In fact that original oak still stands today, at William Pitt's old house, in Sussex). The metaphor of a solid, dependable and faithful oak threads through the story of the garden and ends with the open oak doors leading to a path of freedom.
Then there will be small oak seedlings around the base of the tree - a reminder of the work that is still to be done, if we are all to be free in the twenty-first century. And also, a tribute to those who are leading the way.
For fifteen years, Juliet Sargeant's gardens have been inspired by people: gardeners, garden owners, lovers of landscape and its guardians of the future - children.
For me, gardens are no different to any other art form; they have an ability to move us emotionally, intellectually and psychologically. Gardens can reach us in ways that we little understand, but we should not ignore
Having previously worked as a medical doctor and with a degree in psychology, Juliet sees gardens and landscapes as central to the health and well-being of individuals and society as a whole. Every garden design starts with getting to know the people who will use it.
Last year Juliet joined the BBC Gardeners World team in May and helped to cover the Chelsea Flower Show, speaking particularly on the subject of gardens and health. This year she is delighted to be exhibiting her first Chelsea garden.
No stranger to a challenge; she has grasped the daunting brief of The Modern Slavery Garden with interest and enthusiasm. Juliet lives with her family near Brighton, East Sussex and teaches professional garden design at KLC School of Design based at Hampton Court Palace.