Charity cele-bray-tes donkey garden success at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
PUBLISHED: 17:03 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 21 May 2019
Sidmouth's donkey charity has wowed judges at the hotly-contest RHS Chelsea Flower Show - clinching silver in the 'Artisan Garden' category.
The Donkey Sanctuary's 'Donkeys Matter' garden, which marks the charity's 50th anniversary, uses water as its central theme - demonstrating how owning a donkey means access to clean, fresh water for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.
The garden, which comprises a shelter and a well with a dripping bucket, also features donkey 'poo' and donkey hoof prints - supporting the garden's narrative that a donkey has gone out to work with the community it supports.
Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary, says: "We are thrilled to win silver at Chelsea.
"This garden demonstrates how with hard work, compassion, creativity and dedication our big ideas can achieve great things.
"Most importantly, the garden's serious message - highlighting the crucial work that donkeys do to help the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities - has been taken to a wide and diverse audience at Chelsea.
"Not only does the garden showcase The Donkey Sanctuary's international work, but it's also the perfect way to celebrate half a century of helping donkeys."
A key garden design feature is a path traversing from bottom left to top right representing the many journeys donkeys carry out on behalf of communities to support their livelihoods.
In places like Namibia, Lamu, Somaliland and Ethiopia, donkeys are used to collect water for entire communities.
A donkey will often collect 40 to 60 litres of water at one time.
The act of a donkey carrying water reduces the time required to access it, freeing children to get an education and women to be economically active.
The planting of the 'Donkeys Matter' garden suggests the dry Mediterranean climate, including Mediterranean Sea Holly, Iris and Lavender 'Hidcote'. The colour palette is claret, purple and silver, with bright, vibrant flowers bringing beauty and colour to the garden's harsh surroundings.
The trees in the space are Pine 'Glauca'and Cypress.
The garden was designed by Annie Prebensen and Christina Williams and built by Frogheath Landscapes. The plants were grown by How Green Nursery.