The Mind Garden is about inspiring us to connect with each other for our mental health. When you’re struggling with your mental health, sharing what you’re going through can change everything.
It's designed by eight-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner Andy Sturgeon. Gardens have been a refuge for Andy during difficult periods in his own life. So, for The Mind Garden, he's created a place where others can connect, share experiences and find comfort together.
After the Chelsea Flower Show has ended, we’ll transport the garden to Mind in Furness. As a result, people will be able to support each other in The Mind Garden for many years to come.
Find out more about the design of the garden and the plant list.
Trigger warning - the video below contains mentions of physical and sexual abuse
The Mind Garden design
At its highest point, a circular seating area creates a sanctuary for conversation. Set within curved clay-rendered walls, it’s a place to sit side-by-side and share experiences and advice, surrounded by meadow-like spaces and calming birch trees. A gravel path then arcs down to a lower level, bringing people together before the garden opens out before them. In this way, the design reflects how it can feel to open up to others about your mental health. First, it brings people closer, then there is a sense of release and of possibility.
All plants in The Mind Garden have been expertly grown and cared for by UK nursery, Crocus. The award winning nursery have won 20 Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gardens to date.
To discover more about The Mind Garden, designed by Andy Sturgeon, its plant selection and to shop Andy’s woodland look, visit the Crocus website. If you’re at the show, and want to identify even more plants, download their free gardening app, Iris.
- Betula pendula
- Acer campestre
- Amelanchier lamarckii
- Aronia melanocarpa
- Cornus mas
- Corylus avellana
- Crataegus monogyna
- Euonymus europaeus 'Red Cascade'
- Viburnum opulus
- Adiantum pedatum L.
- Aralia cordata
- Beesia calthifolia
- Blechnum penna marina
- Blechnum spicant
- Briza media
- Carex divulsa
- Chloranthus sessifolius "Domino"
- Deschampsia cespitosa
- Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau'
- Dicentra 'Filigree'
- Disporum longistylum 'Green Giant'
- Disporum 'Night Heron'
- Dryopteris cycadina
- Dryopteris wallichiana
- Epimedium wushanense
- Gallium odoratum
- Ligusticum scoticum
- Maianthemum oleraceum
- Maianthemum paniculatum
- Maianthemum racemosum
- Osmunda regalis
- Polystichum setiferum
- Amsonia tabernaemontana 'Storm Cloud'
- Angelica dahurica
- Asparagus meiocladus
- Camassia lechtlinii 'Silk River'
- Cenolophium denudatum
- Filipendula multijuga var. yezoiensis
- Geum rivale
- Melanoselinum decipiens
- Polemonium 'Lambrook Mauve'
- Rodgersia aesculifolia
- Thalictrum 'Elin'
- Thalictrum rochebrunianum
- Valeriana alliariifolia
- Valeriana officinalis
- Visnaga daucoides
- Visnaga daucoides 'Casablanca'
- Visnaga daucoides 'Green Mist'
- Acaena microphylla
- Achillea 'Taygetea'
- Allium nigrum
- Anchusa azurea 'Dropmore'
- Bupleurum longifolium subsp. aureum
- Campanula patula
- Catananche caerulea
- Centaurea montana 'Jordy'
- Centranthus ruber var. coccineus
- Echium amoenum 'Red Feathers'
- Eschscholzia californica 'Ivory Castle'
- Euphorbia palustris
- Euphorbia walliichi
- Gladiolus communis subsp byzantinus
- Helianthus salicifolius
- Leucanthemum vulgare
- Papaver somniferum 'Laurens Grape'
- Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Alba'
- Rosa glauca
- Salvia sclarea
- Seseli elatum subsp. Osseum
- Sesleria autumnalis
- Stipa gigantea
- Zizia aurea
Gardening and mental health
Spending time in green space or bringing nature into our everyday life can benefit our mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have many positive effects, such as:
Ecotherapy services available at local Minds
- Green Minds at Brecon & District Mind
- Allotment group at Mind in Croydon
- Wilderness walks with mindfulness at West Sussex Mind
- Let's Grow community allotment at West Kent Mind
- Green Care at Suffolk Mind
- Gardening projects as part of wellbeing activities at Mind in Haringey
- Allotment gardening group in Wellington at Mind in Somerset
- Quantock Hills Working Well Groups at Mind in Somerset
- Vanessa gardening project in Yeovil at Mind in Somerset
- Ecominds at Middlesborough & Stockton Mind
- Well Grounded at Mind in Somerset
For young people:
- Ecotherapy programme working with schools at Dorset Mind
- Happy Project at Newport Mind Association
- Creative Spaces at Solihull Mind
- Ecominds at Middlesbrough & Stockton Mind
- Greenlinks at Bath Mind
- Allotment and gardening groups at Cornwall Mind
- Eco wellbeing groups at Hillingdon Mind
- Mayfield Nurseries at Solent Mind
- Gardening peer support project at Mind in Havering
- Growth Project at Rochdale & District Mind
- Horticulture at Norfolk and Waveney Mind
- Gardening peer support group at Mind in Lewisham
Ecotherapy is a formal type of treatment that involves doing outdoor activities in nature.
To find an ecotherapy programme in your area:
- Contact your local Mind to ask if they run any ecotherapy programmes you could join. You can find your nearest local Mind on our online search page.
- Explore what different organisations offer. See our useful contacts for details.
- Ask your GP. They might be able to refer you to a local programme - sometimes called 'social prescribing' or 'green prescribing'. See our page on talking to your GP about your mental health for tips.
We have listed local Minds that provide ecotherapy and other nature-based support programmes at the bottom of this section.
Nam commodo suscipit quam. Maecenas tempus, tellus eget condimentum rhoncus
Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. Through The Mind Garden, we hope many more people will discover the power of peer support and understand for themselves how it can help connections with others to bloom.
Let’s connect for our mental health
The Mind Garden is about inspiring us to connect with each other for our mental health. Here are some different ways that you can do that - whether it's connecting online, in person or in nature. Take a look or share with someone you love.
Visit Side by Side, our online supportive community. A safe place to listen and be heard.
Connect in person
Connect at a peer support group at your local Mind. Or find one via our online peer support directory.
Connect with nature
Find out more about how spending time in nature can help your mental health and wellbeing.
Solange, Mike and Glen share their stories about how connecting in nature or connecting with others has been transformative for their mental health.
Solange blogs about how gardening has helped her cope with her bipolar disorder.
Mike blogs about how working as a horticulturist helped him return to the world after facing severe depression.
Glenn blogs about how volunteering on a nature project with Mind has given him new confidence after an episode of depression.
How you can support us
Feel inspired? There are lots of ways you can support us in making sure none of us face a mental health problem alone.
Donate today to help us make sure none of us face a mental health problem alone.
Give yourself a moment of 'me time' with a Pause box subscription. All proceeds go to Mind.
Work with us to campaign for a better deal for people with mental health problems.
With special thanks to our sponsors
Andy Sturgeon and his team, who designed The Mind Garden.
Crocus, who expertly build the garden and grew the plants in The Mind Garden.
Dunelm, the UK’s leading homewares retailer and a Mind charitable partner, who are supporting the transportation of the entire garden to a new home at Mind in Furness.
Frances Segelman aka Lady Petchey, kindly supporting The Mind Garden Celebration reception at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Guy Valentine, designer, and creator of the oak carved benches in The Mind Garden.
Johnny Woodford, designer, and creator of the curved rendered walls in The Mind Garden.
Project Giving Back, kindly funded The Mind Garden and elements of the relocation to Mind in Furness.
Thea Thompson Ceramics. Designer, and creator of the water chutes in The Mind Garden.
Wincanton, introduced to us by our charity partner, Co-op, who are kindly transporting The Mind Garden to Mind in Furness for free.