From 5 to 10 July Dogs Trust will be exhibiting Hampton Court Flower Show’s first ever garden designed especially with dogs in mind.
The garden - named 'A Dog's Life' - marks the 125th anniversary of the charity’s commitment to rehoming abandoned dogs. It will provide a welcoming space for both people and dogs, with dog-friendly features woven into the design. Created by acclaimed designer Paul Hervey-Brooks, the garden was inspired by the charity’s sensory space at its West London rehoming centre, which provides exciting areas to forage, exercise and explore. All the features have been approved by the Dogs Trust veterinary team and after the show finishes, 70% of the garden will be ‘rehomed’ at the charity's rehoming centre in West London.
The Dogs Trust garden features the following:
- Diverse planting to reflect the range of dogs you could meet at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre. The mix includes hybrid plants as a reference to the various dog breeds taken in and rehomed by the charity and perennial plants to reflect the charity's promise to never put a healthy dog to sleep
- Sniffer tracks subtly marked out within the planting for dogs to discover and stop for a rest
- Tunnels in various sizes woven into the herbaceous borders for dogs to explore
- Two water features, including a large still rill representing the abandonment faced by stray dogs and another that provides running water for dogs to enjoy
- A snug pavilion located at the rear of the garden in which dogs and their human guests can survey the landscape. The durable materials used reflect the ‘forever home’ sought by dogs being looked after by Dogs Trust. A shadow of a dog and owner will be projected inside this structure
- An area for dogs to enjoy digging and trees that provide shelter and places to forage and search for toys and treats
- A modern mix of sculptures positioned in the large water rill and around the water will illustrate the playful character of dogs
- Plants that are non-toxic to dogs have been chosen to keep dogs safe
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO says, “We are thrilled to be at Hampton Court this year. Paul’s design works as a space that appeals to both human and canine senses and one that dogs and people can enjoy harmoniously. From secret sniffer tracks subtly woven into rich herbaceous planting to the digging area and peaceful pavilion retreat, dogs of all shapes and sizes have been considered, which echoes the approach of every Dogs Trust rehoming centre.”
In the early 1900s, Dogs Trust, or the National Canine Defence League as it was known then, asked its members to organise a series of private shelters to care for stray dogs. These would often be set up in the members’ gardens, including one in Hampton itself, and became a refuge for dogs.
Adrian continues, “We hope our garden encourages visitors to learn more about our rehoming work, whilst also inspiring people with subtle ways to make their own garden a welcoming space for dogs.”
If you would like advice on making your garden dog-friendly Dogs Trust have compiled a list of tips on their website.
Caption: Jeff Moore - Ben the Terrier cross and Marky the Westie test out the features in Dogs Trust's show garden at Hampton Court Flower Show 2016. Ben and Marky are all looking for new homes at Dogs Trust West London.