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Press release

The Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond with the National Trust wins coveted People’s Choice Award – its third award of the week – at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Andy Jasper, Ann-Marie Powell and Alan Roper with The People's Choice Award
Andy Jasper, Ann-Marie Powell and Alan Roper with The People's Choice Award | © Blue Diamond / National Trust

The Octavia Hill Garden by Blue Diamond with the National Trust has been awarded The People’s Choice Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024.

The award caps a successful week for the garden, which took a Silver-Gilt Award and the first ever RHS Children’s Choice Award, which saw London primary school children act as ‘junior judges’ to choose their favourite garden.

The garden [1] was designed by Ann-Marie Powell, who took inspiration from the legacy of Octavia Hill (1838-1912) [2], a social reformer and co-founder of the National Trust. She campaigned for much of her life to preserve green space and footpaths, so that people – especially those living in cities – could benefit from ‘the healthy gift of air and the joy of plants and flowers’.

Garden designer Ann-Marie Powell said: “Every Chelsea designer hopes for an award from the judges - it represents the pinnacle of horticulture. But I couldn’t be prouder that the public have chosen us for the People’s Choice Award. After all, our garden is an urban community wildlife garden, designed as a set of outdoor sitting rooms where people can be among vibrant plants, calming water and pollinators busy among the blooms.

“To hear that people have responded to that, as a space they love and would want to use, just fills me with joy. Octavia Hill was right all those years ago – green space isn’t a luxury. We all crave it and it enriches our lives, and the world around us, in countless ways.

“I hope that message flies far and is heard by everyone who cares about and shapes our urban environments. Our health, and the state of nature, matters too much to dismiss green space as unimportant. It matters, and it always has.”

Andy Jasper, National Trust Director of Gardens and Parklands, said: “There’s never been a better time to invest in gardens that make our neighbourhoods havens for people, nature and wildlife. Our founder, Octavia Hill, showed us the value of green spaces and they’re still at the heart of so much that our charity does.

“We couldn’t be happier to have won this award. The public have spoken loud and clear: they love what they have seen. Tarmac, concrete and artificial turf are our enemies – the way forward is investing in good design, inspired planting and skilled horticulturists to make it happen.”

Alan Roper, Blue Diamond Managing Director, said: “For me this was the Award I wanted to win the most because I feel the public voted for a true gardener's garden. A garden that is the most relatable for people to be inspired by.”

Following the show, the garden will be rebuilt at Blue Diamond owned Bridgemere Garden Centre, an RHS Partner Garden, in Nantwich, Cheshire, so that people can continue to enjoy it for many years to come.