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The Donkey Sanctuary’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden lives on

The Donkey Sanctuary’s 50 years’ legacy building continues as its award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden has now been rebuilt at the charity’s international headquarters in Devon. The garden is now open to the public and like the Sanctuary will be free of charge for visitors.
The ‘Donkeys Matter’ Artisan Garden won People’s Choice Award and a silver medal in the judges’ awards at the prestigious Chelsea show in May. The garden, which has now being reconstructed at the charity’s flagship Devon sanctuary, was designed to showcase its international work and celebrate 50 years of transforming the lives of donkeys and mules.
The Donkey Sanctuary, with the generous support of long term donor, felt a Chelsea garden was in keeping with its long term vision of animal welfare, conservation and sustainability. The international charity is committed to building a legacy of donkey excellence in a sustainable green space for future generations.
Using water as its central theme, The Donkey Sanctuary’s artisan garden creates a narrative to illustrate the donkey’s journey from a wooden shelter through hot, dry landscapes to its place of work in agriculture or water collection. The garden demonstrates with a well and dripping bucket how owning a donkey means access to clean, fresh water for some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the world.
The planting of the ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden suggests the dry Mediterranean climate, including Mediterranean Sea Holly Eryngium bourgatii, Iris ‘Langport Wren’ and Lavender ‘Hidcote’ Lavandula angustifolia. The colour palette is claret, purple and silver, with bright, vibrant flowers bringing beauty and colour to the garden’s harsh surroundings. The trees in the space are Pine ‘Glauca’ (Pinus parviflora) and Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens).
This summer, visitors to The Donkey Sanctuary can buy similar plants to those featured in its garden; they can also learn about conservation projects across the charity’s farms as well as it’s supported charities worldwide.
The Chelsea garden is testament to North Devon designers Annie Prebensen and Christina Williams. It was made possible by a generous supporter who wanted to help raise The Donkey Sanctuary’s profile and take its message to a wider audience.
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