Brothers Hugh & Howard Miller of bespoke kitchen designers H. Miller Bros have been announced as the winners of a Silver-Gilt medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for their ‘Urban Foraging Station’ Show Garden. Created for Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Liverpool, the garden was designed to encourage children's engagement with nature through foraging, sharing healthy food, playing, relaxing together and being in the moment. It's about weaving together the young and old, green and urban, play and learning and Alder Hey Children's Hospital with its community.
The design also includes a handcrafted Mobile Foraging Kitchen that contains all the delicate tools needed for foraging and was made to be easily moveable to wherever the ‘seasonal foraging’ is taking place. The mobile kitchen also contains an induction hob for cooking, as well as other kitchen utensils for preparing and eating foraged foods. The garden is full of plant species such as crab apple, rose hip, elderflower, wild garlic, mushroom, water mint and poppy seed that can be foraged for eating, processing, drinking, making natural dyes, or even using for bush crafts. H. Miller bros also designed a set of foraging tools that were handmade in solid chestnut.
There is a common thread of ‘weaving’ throughout the garden such as within the picnic blanket, baskets, mobile foraging kitchen and tools. A switch of material was needed for the picnic blanket feature, as this element needs to perform outdoors in all climates, so it was made from glass-reinforced concrete which allowed H. Miller Bros to create the ripples and folds of a blanket. Growing through the picnic blanket is a mixture of scented, culinary herbs.
Designer, Howard Miller said: “We were really keen to work with Alder Hey to make a garden that celebrates the amazing work they do to support children and their families. We’re a family business, local to the Hospital and many of our family and friends have benefited from Alder Hey’s care; they’re a big part of our community. It’s a real privilege too that we can move the garden back to Alder Hey where it will become a living resource for children and medical practitioners to use for social prescribing and other informal therapies.
Pictured, H. Miller Bros – Hugh, left and Howard, right.