Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Explore the SSAFA Garden at this year's Chelsea Flower Show!

Chelsea Flower Show 2022

Explore the SSAFA Garden at this year's Chelsea Flower Show!

The SSAFA Sanctuary Garden, designed by Amanda Waring, Catfoot Garden Design, will be at the Chelsea Flower Show between 24 – 28 May 2022.

The SSAFA Sanctuary Garden

Chelsea Pensioners were just some of the thousands who have visited the SSAFA Garden.

The backdrop of the Royal Hospital Chelsea is the perfect setting for the garden, providing the military connection to the ‘SSAFA Sanctuary Garden, sponsored by CCLA’. After the event this garden will be moved to Norton House, Stanford Hall which is run by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, providing a place of calm and respite for those friends and family visiting their loved ones at the nearby Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC).

The SSAFA Garden was designed to be a calm place to relax, and will be moved to Norton House once the RHS Garden Show 2022 is over.

Norton House, Stanford Hall is just one of SSAFA’s many services. It offers free, safe, and supportive accommodation to families whose loved ones are receiving treatment for injuries at the DMRC near Loughborough. The house also offers a place for serving personnel receiving treatment to spend time with their loved ones away from the medical environment. Having a place for family members to easily travel to and share precious moments helps with the rehabilitation process. For patients, knowing their families are in a safe and supportive environment nearby, without the added worry of costs of accommodation also helps relieve stress. Overall, this creates a supportive environment in times where people can feel their most alone.

Matt Edwards' story

Matt (on right) speaking to SSAFA Ambassador Antony Cotton about his experiences.

When Royal Marine and former Team GB swimmer Matt Edwards dislocated his ankle during a training exercise, he had no idea it would begin of years of pain, and the eventual amputation of his leg. Since the operation to remove his leg, Matt has been staying at his ‘home from home’ SSAFA’s Norton House when he receives treatment at DMRC.

“I was being treated at DMRC and from February to July after the leg was removed, I was based at the hospital there for rehab. I was effectively living on the ward, but I would also stay at SSAFA’s Norton House too.

“Norton House is a place where I could feel at home. To get back to see my wife and my family would be an eight-hour round trip, and the journey would cause me pain and I couldn’t enjoy being with everyone and I made it miserable for them. Norton House is a mile from the hospital, so I could get there and feel relaxed.

“It is a cosy, warm, homely atmosphere too, I probably didn’t realise it at the time, that helped enormously with my recovery. I could have the people I needed around me. SSAFA has been fantastic in helping me gain some sort of normality back.

It costs over £200,000 per year to keep this vital service open.

Please help us continue this good work and help many other families. 

About Amanda Waring

Amanda plotting out her latest garden idea.

Amanda has won Silver-Gilt Medal at RHS Chatsworth 2018, Gold Medal at RHS Hampton Court 2016, Silver-Gilt Medal at RHS Tatton 2015 and Gold Medal at RHS Tatton 2014 as well as Best Show Garden. She is twice qualified as a garden designer both times with distinction. This is Amanda’s second career, having been in the furniture industry for 30 years. She is still heavily involved with the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and will be installed as their Senior Warden during the build of the Chelsea Garden.

"It is a huge privilege to design a garden for RHS Chelsea and has been a long-held ambition of mine to do so," said Amanda. "The Garden for SSAFA’s Norton House will provide so much on-going pleasure for the families of service personnel being treated for injury nearby.

"My son is currently serving in the Army and has been deployed on operations during his 12-year career. I have drawn on my own experiences of being part of this extraordinary military family to design a garden that supports what I know to be an outstanding charity doing incredible work for our service men and women. CCLA our major sponsor, previously worked with us at RHS Hampton Court and RHS Chatsworth, they have a brilliant team who give encouragement and support throughout the process."

If you would like to find out more about Norton House - including arranging a stay for those with a loved one undergoing treatment at the DMRC - then please visit this page.