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Designers to help equine charity share its ‘invisible horses’ message at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, whose garden for World Horse Welfare is going on display at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Picture by Rose Tinted PR

Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, whose garden for World Horse Welfare is going on display at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Picture by Rose Tinted PR

Rose Tinted PR

Two garden designers are using their horticultural skills to shine a spotlight on invisible horses around the world, in aid of a charity close to their hearts.

Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith will be creating a garden for World Horse Welfare for the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Chelsea veterans’ artisan garden will also celebrate the Snetterton-based charity’s 90th anniversary.

Mr Smith said: “We are chuffed to be able to have the opportunity to exhibit at Chelsea for World Horse Welfare.

“Our gardens generally have something emotive about them, and the charity wanted to do a garden like that to get people thinking about invisible horses around the world.

“We are quite passionate about this particular garden – we are both animal lovers and it really does talk to us.”

The 7m x 5m garden will be a traditional wildflower garden, telling the story of a real horse rescued from a small, derelict stable and nursed back to health under World Horse Welfare’s care, now living in a bright, open meadow where he can thrive and continue his journey to rehoming.

Horse friendly plants and herbs will be included, but the garden will also highlight some that are dangerous such as horseradish, horse chestnut and horse tail.

Mr Smith added: “It is a simple darkness-into-light story, which tells the story of Clippy and other horses found in these dreadful conditions.

“We hope this is going to be another good garden and it could quite easily be our best yet because we are so enthusiastic about it.”

Funded privately by a supporter of the charity, the garden will seek to encourage showgoers and television viewers to reflect on the plight of neglected and abused horses.

Tony Tyler, deputy chief executive of World Horse Welfare, said: “The garden allows us to demonstrate our work to a much wider range of people than we would normally do, and having a garden at Chelsea in our 90th birthday year will be a very nice thing for us.

“The theme is around our invisible horses appeal, where we are highlighting the thousands of horses that people just do not see. It could be horses kept in outbuildings, or ones that are tethered on the side of the road which people do not really notice.”

For Mr Woolcoot and Mr Smith, whose company is based in Bishop’s Stortford in Essex, it will be their 10th time exhibiting at Chelsea.

For their equine garden they stuck to their signature style, using wildflowers and reclaimed materials to present the emotive story of rescued horse Clippy.

It will also feature a sculpture made of horse shoes donated by supporters of the charity, as well as from celebrities’ animals and from famous horses, including Olympic champions.

Mr Tyler said parts of the garden will be repurposed at the charity’s four rescue and rehoming centres around the UK.

The garden will be making its debut at Chelsea Flower Show on press day (May 22).

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