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Sound Wave show garden

Sound Wave show garden

Amanda Shipman and Caroline May

Caroline May MSGD and pre-registered member Amanda Shipman are working on proposals for a show garden designed for people living with dementia and their carers, which they hope to create at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2016. Written by Zia Allaway.

What inspired your show garden idea?

Amanda: My mother has dementia and lives in a care home, and I wanted to create a garden there that would connect with her. The design focuses on sound, the last sense to be lost by those living with dementia, and I thought it would be the perfect way to reach out to my mum. It would also contribute to people’s wellbeing by getting them outside and active. Caroline’s dad had the illness, too, so we both have personal experience of its effects.

What was involved in applying for the show?

Caroline: We submitted our design last year and the RHS loved it. In fact, the show manager, David Green, liked the idea so much that he asked us to upgrade it from a summer garden to a larger show garden. But when we got the final confirmation that the garden had been accepted for the show, we were too late in the financial year to pick up funding from BUPA, who were our main hope for sponsorship.

How is the project progressing?

Amanda: David Green wanted us to carry over the design to 2016, which we thought would make it easier, giving us a whole year to find sponsorship. Through the generous goodwill of suppliers, who are offering their time and goods for free, we have been able to significantly reduce the funding required, but still need to raise £25,000 to make it work. It’s a full-time job chasing sponsorship, and we call or write to people every day. Hopefully, someone will come forward and make our dream a reality.

The Sound Wave show garden

If you would like to help make the Sound Wave garden come to life, please contact Amanda at or Caroline at

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