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Robert Barker Design – Cambridge Based Garden Design


2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

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Skin Deep

Skin Deep is a conceptual garden designed for the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It has been created for an established UK skin care company. Concrete blocks have been used to represent different human faces and skin conditions. Each one represents a different condition that could affect any one of us over a lifetime.

Our outer layer reflects our life story and reveals to the world our joys, stresses and worries in the form of everything from birthmarks to wrinkles. It is a window into our genetic past. This concept is echoed in the garden’s textural planting scheme.

The plants used have been chosen for their form and texture, reflecting different skin conditions. Small pools of water add a reflective quality and are symbolic of the necessity of water to maintain healthy skin. The path leads through a virtual cityscape sculpture to an area for contemplation on the story our own skin tells.

"Skin Deep. The most controversial garden at  RHS Chelsea this year, and to my mind one of the best. The tactile textures on the concrete blocks are taken from an assortment of skin conditions. Soothing, calm and reflective. A brave and beautiful garden. Well done." Nigel Slater

The garden was critically acclaimed and Robert and his garden featured heavily during the BBC coverage as well as featuring in the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Harper's Bazaar, BBC Radio 2 and Talk Radio. 

Non-press photographs by Annaick Guitteny Photography

Please visit the garden's very own website for more information about the garden or visit the Skin Deep blog within this website for behind the scenes coverage.

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