Prince William and Kate Middleton pay visit to gold medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show - grown in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 14:32 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:30 23 May 2019
A garden created in Norfolk to highlight the problems families face has won a gold medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
And the Family Monsters Garden, partly made at Swaffham's Escape community allotment run by the charity Family Action, was also named the show's 'best artisan garden'.
Designer Alistair Bayford said everyone involved in the project was thrilled with the accolades.
Mr Bayford said: "Bringing this garden to Chelsea has been a real privilege. I'm ecstatic that we've won a gold medal and have been awarded best artisan garden - there's no feeling like it.
"It's important that we all talk more about the pressures our families face, and it's been a great experience for the 22 apprentices who've helped build the Family Monsters Garden alongside the team from Family Action's project in Swaffham."
Among those who have already seen the garden at the flower show, which begins today (May 21), were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were shown around it by Mr Bayford.
The garden celebrates 150 years of the national charity Family Action supporting families across the country and 100 years of Idverde, which creates and maintains landscapes such as parks and gardens for the benefit of communities. Mr Bayford and Idverde did most of the work on the garden, which encourages people to reflect on their pressures and to bring families together. The space is full of symbolism, such as trees with obvious imperfections to convey how families can grow together after tackling challenges.
There are also boulders and pebbles of different shapes and sizes to represent different family monsters, which become smaller when we talk about them.
David Holmes, Family Action's chief executive, said: "Every family has its monsters and we've been helping families deal with their pressures for 150 years. We hope this wonderful garden, which is full of symbolism, will encourage families to come together and talk about their family monsters.
"The more we do so, the better we can all face the challenges of life together, rather than pretending everything is okay. We all have everyday problems in our families that, like the boulders representing family monsters, can become more manageable simply by talking."