“The planting was one of the show's highlights. It's never easy to get yellow to work well, but Freddy's striking palate offset with greys and blues proved a real winner. ” Andrew Fisher Tomlin

The Amnesty International Magna Carta 800 Garden

Amnesty International wished to celebrate to mark 800 years since the signing of the Magna Carta.

Garden elements represent the genealogy of the Magna Carta as the parent of human rights protections and the role of Amnesty International championing these.

The garden layout is based on Paradise and Medieval Gardens. A tree at the heart of the garden represents the tree under which the Magna Carta was signed. It is surrounded by formal waterways that “bubble” with free speech towards today’s public. Five Cupressus semperviren srepresent the Magna Carta’s offspring: The Bill of Rights (1689); The Slavery Abolition Act (1833); The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), described by Eleanor Roosevelt as the “international Magna Carta for all mankind”; The European Convention on Human Rights (1950); and The Human Rights Act (UK 1998). 

Along the boundary, panels of the Magna Carta text create a nurturing space for the increasingly vibrant planting palate that represents the progress of free speech and the freedom of expression. Clusters of Buxus sempervirens represent the hills of Runnymede.

Amnesty International’s role as a champion of human rights is celebrated in the planting palate’s predominant colour, yellow, accompanied by uplifting, hopeful blues. Burgundy accents are reminiscent of the Magna Carta’s wax seals.

The garden was awarded a Silver-Gilt Medal.