Mind Trap... a positive garden about mental health

19 May 2017

Mind Trap has been created by Ian Price and sponsored and built by idverde at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 to highlight the issue of mental ill health in our society, for the benefit of all. Mind Trap is based on Ian’s personal experience of suffering from mental ill health and depression; he uses a physical living garden filled with symbolism to show sufferers that they are not alone, and give those with no experience of suffering some insight into what it feels like.

Mind Trap... a positive garden about mental health

Northern Irish garden designer Ian Price and green space provider idverde have announced that ‘Mind Trap’, their garden for this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, will support the Heads Together campaign. The garden is designed to represent the struggle with mental health problems and to encourage more people to talk about it, with Ian Price drawing on his own experience of mental ill health and depression.

Heads Together brings together eight mental health charities with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to end stigma and change the conversation on mental health. After creating the world’s first mental health marathon, as charity of the year for this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon, the campaign is now exploring how to give people more confidence to support each other with their mental health and find the additional advice and support they need.

Mind Trap is a physical manifestation of Ian’s experience of struggling with mental ill health and depression, which he hopes will help people to understand what it’s like to suffer. Even if people have not experienced mental health problem themselves, we all know someone that has or is suffering, and it is hoped that the garden can also help those currently struggling know that they are not alone.

Mind Trap’s design contains plants, features and structures that have symbolic meaning, and this continues into the creation of the spaces themselves. The most dominant features visible from the outside of the garden are the four metal walls, which act as a foil for the planting on the exterior of the garden and enclose the inner, central area. The walls are symbolic, as they represent a feeling of imprisonment, or security, depending on your perspective.   From inside the garden, the walls restrict much of the view to outside, representing how difficult it is for sufferers to see the whole picture and gain perspective.  In the centre of the space, is an isolated seat in a pool, surrounded by paths of which one leads to a dead end, and others lead to steps of different heights with only one allowing an easy exit from the garden. These paths are symbolic of the choices that people have to make for recovery, and that some of those paths may not be the right choice for our mental health.

This is only Ian’s second RHS show with his first showcase at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2014 with the Gold medal winning ‘Elemental’ garden.  Ian studied BSc (Hons) Landscape and Garden Design at Writtle University College and he is being assisted with the planting by some Writtle students studying on the same course.  Ian’s qualification for RHS Chelsea Flower Show also makes him the first Northern Irish designer to qualify for entry in 30 years.

Ian Price said:

“I’m so thrilled to be able to support Heads Together through my design for Mind Trap, as I want to get people talking about mental health just as the campaign has been doing. To see Heads Together so prominently in the news every day over the past few weeks has been a hugely positive step forwards for this conversation in society, and I’m so proud that my small contribution in the form of horticulture will help continue this conversation.”

idverde is Europe’s leading green services provider and is sponsoring and assisting Ian in the build of Mind Trap.

Nick Temple-Heald, CEO of idverde UK comments:

“We are very proud to be sponsoring and delivering the build of Mind Trap at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Ian, as mental health is an issue that resonates with us all whether on a personal or professional level.

“We believe that the garden will prove an innovative and effective way of raising awareness among the public of mental health issues, as well as highlighting the therapeutic effects that parks, open space and gardens can have in helping individuals with mental health problems build resilience and recover.  Supporting Heads Together through Mind Trap is a great way of helping to get more people talking about mental health problems, both within our industry and beyond.”

Funds from the sale of the plants or whole garden after the show will be donated to Heads Together, Perennial – the charity which supports horticulture workers through tough times – and Inspire, a Northern Irish charity focussed on promoting wellbeing for all.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens to the public from 23 – 27 May 2017 in the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital, London.

For further details visit www.idverde.co.uk/mind-trap

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