Accolade from pro landscapers for equine charity’s popular Chelsea winner

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"Donkeys Matter" has won the People's Choice Award at the Chelsea Flower Show.
“Donkeys Matter” won the People’s Choice Award and a silver medal in the judges’ awards at the Chelsea Flower Show.
© The Donkey Sanctuary

The award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden created for The Donkey Sanctuary has won another accolade, taking out the prestigious Community Award from the Association of Professional Landscapers for 2021.

The Association of Professional Landscapers annual awards recognise landscaping projects that show technical and horticultural excellence. The Community Award, won by the “Donkeys Matter” garden, recognises charitable and remembrance gardens.

The “Donkeys Matter” garden was built to mark The Donkey Sanctuary’s 50th anniversary in 2019 and was designed to showcase the charity’s international work. Using water as its central theme, the garden demonstrates how owning a donkey means access to clean, fresh water for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world. After its Chelsea Flower Show success, it was re-built at the charity’s international headquarters in Sidmouth.

Association of Professional Landscapers Manager Phil Treymayne said the award judges who visited the garden in Sidmouth were “extremely impressed” at the level of skill and attention to detail that had gone into the reconstruction.

“These are never very easy to do, and it was felt that the construction team had done a fantastic job in retaining the overall look and feel of the garden and blending it in to its new surroundings.

“Whilst there had to be subtle changes, the overall look and feel of the garden was retained and it is brilliant to think this multiple award-winning garden can now be viewed by thousands more visitors. It was a very deserved winner,” Treymayne said.

James Searle, Head of Commercial Activities at The Donkey Sanctuary said the charity was proud of its garden, and that the hard work and dedication of the construction team was recognised by the judges.

The Donkeys Matter garden was rebuilt at the charity's headquarters in Sidmouth.
The “Donkeys Matter” garden was rebuilt at the charity’s headquarters in Sidmouth. © The Donkey Sanctuary

“It was always our aim to produce a garden that could be enjoyed for years to come, long after the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. When The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth re-opens in May, I know once again, that the garden will be a firm favourite with visitors,” he said.

The garden won the sought-after BBC RHS People’s Choice Award in the Artisan Garden category at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. After the show, it was reconstructed at the charity’s international headquarters in Sidmouth.

East Sussex-based landscapers Frogheath Landscapes Ltd constructed the garden. It can be viewed at The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth, which is scheduled to reopen to visitors on Monday, May 17.

» More on the Donkeys Matter garden

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