Sparsholt College is delighted to have once again teamed up with cancer support charity Maggie’s, to launch this year’s RHS Chelsea Garden entry ‘Home from Home’ 

The garden, designed by Sparsholt’s multiple-medal-winning-team, proudly supports the work of Maggie’s in Southampton to provide free emotional and practical support for people with cancer and their families and friends. The exhibit takes inspiration from Maggie’s recognition that the space around us (whether inside or out) creates an environment which helps people to find the emotional space they need. 

‘Home from Home’ draws on the achievements of the Southampton centre, first opened in 2021, which supported over 6,000 people in their first year.  Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals, the centres are designed uniquely to provide a home-like space for cancer patients, their family, and friends away from the clinical environment of the hospital. Each building is designed alongside a bespoke therapeutic garden – an integral feature of each building – to provide their centre visitors a reflective, peaceful outdoor space. Reflected by the design, the garden features the open-door policy of the centre and a representation of their logo as a storage shed. A TV shows relaxation and information videos on a loop with subtitles and graphic panels which inform the visitor of the work of Maggie’s in Southampton.  

Visitors to RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be met by a welcome moment of pause with this carefully crafted design created with extraordinary architectural features. Around the edge of the garden are a series of open windows giving a different view of the garden representing the different starting points of people after  cancer diagnoses. The hard landscape represents the differing  journey that each person takes. 

Peaceful planting engages all the senses and avoids sharp spines and thorns as any wounds might cause infection. The planting  encourages calmness and contemplation with different viewpoints and areas of interest. Places to sit and chat or read are included with stepping stones used for a paced and careful approach. 

Back-lit stained-glass windows will be framed by a collection of climbing plants providing a comforting backdrop.   

Lara, Sparsholt College Student and Construction Team member said: “I’m very excited about going to RHS Chelsea, I think it’s a great privilege and a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think the design is very beautiful. The aim of the garden is to be a calming and relaxing place and we’ve all put in our favourite plants which relax us.” 


About Maggie’s Cancer Trust  

  • Maggie’s is a registered charity that provides free emotional, practical and social support for people with cancer and their families and friends. Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations from the local community so that their cancer support specialist, Psychologist and other specialist staff can provide this support all year round for free. Currently 24 centres are open with six in the planning stage. Each centre is a warm and welcoming place, with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need to find their way through cancer. 
  • Contact: Gemma McKnight 

Maggie’s Southampton, University Hospital Southampton, 101-103 Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6HT