Planting a Seed for the Future

Planting a seed for the future: Macmillan’s RHS Chatsworth Legacy Garden
On June 5th, Macmillan Cancer Support will be at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, exhibiting a bespoke garden inspired by the importance of planting legacies for the future. Designed by Michael Coley, the garden centres around a large oak tree which is surrounded by saplings – echoing the theme of growth and renewal.
Michael Coley said: “Oak trees to me represent wisdom, strength and longevity – something constant that people can return to. The theme of leaving a legacy is communicated through the surrounding saplings and smaller seedlings which cover the majority of the garden. The idea is to give the impression that the central tree has spread its seeds to create the beautiful garden around it.”
Almost a third of all of Macmillan’s funding comes from gifts left in the wills of supporters and this garden is a celebratory reminder of the difference leaving a legacy can make to people living with cancer.
Also incorporated into the garden design are large blocks of Derbyshire fossil limestone, which culminate in a fragmented central area. The stone used comes from a quarry within the Chatsworth Estate and was chosen to show the longevity of legacies, with their irregular formation representing how disorientating living with cancer can be.
The final feature of the garden is a large mirror, designed to give visitors the chance to look at their reflection and consider what their legacy would be.
Ruthie Coverdale, Macmillan Cancer Support Senior Legacy Promotions Manager said: “Last year, over £84 million was gifted to Macmillan in wills. This was instrumental in helping us to provide practical, emotional, and personal support for people affected by cancer. We hope that this beautiful garden inspires visitors to think about leaving a legacy in their will so that we can continue to support the 2.5 million people in the UK who are living with cancer.”
For more information on how you can leave a legacy for Macmillan Cancer Support visit
Macmillan Cancer Support’s legacy garden will be on display at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show from June 6th to June 10th. Tickets are available at

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