Achievment sculpture Aspirational sculpture View of the garden Discussing the garden with HRH Lower level planting Pool planting Through the ceiling Upper level planting Up through the ceiling View of the pool Silver medal
Achievment sculpture Aspirational sculpture View of the garden Discussing the garden with HRH Lower level planting Pool planting Through the ceiling Upper level planting Up through the ceiling View of the pool Silver medal
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Chelsea Flower Show

Through The Glass Ceiling Garden

Chelsea Flower Show 2002

Sponsor: Accenture

Designer: Miriam Book

Designing a garden for Chelsea Flower show is a most exciting and nerve-racking experience. Starting with finding a sponsor you go on to produce a design that is innovative, tells a story, passes the brief of the sponsor and the demands of the RHS. Then contractors have to be found, plants, furniture, pots, and materials sourced. Finally the garden has to be built and planted in an incredibly short space of time and looking perfect for the week of Chelsea Flower Show – come rain or shine!

I was fortunate in finding a sponsor in Accenture. Their brief was that the garden had to celebrate the work/life balance they encourage in their employees. They also wanted lots of planting.

The "Through the Glass Ceiling" garden represented the possibilities open to women in this company. It was a symbol of a relaxed harmonious existence where time could be taken to unwind and enjoy surrounding scents and colours whilst assessing life opportunities. The central theme was a visual representation of the metaphorical glass ceiling.

A retaining wall reminiscent of an office block divided the garden into two contrasting levels: "Aspiration" (lower) and "Achievement" (upper). A spiral "career" ladder ascended from the muted planting of the lower level to the upper where the strong colours of the planting expressed the energy and vibrancy of a fulfilled and well balanced workforce. From this level a cascade of water from the computer-shaped water feature symbolised the flow of inspiration to the pool of ideas and talent below.

Sculptures created especially for the garden depict the transformation of the undefined form of an aspirational individual into a consummate dynamic achiever.