Blind Veterans Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

Blind Veterans Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show


Blind Veterans Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show


Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer (Garden Designers)


10 x Semi-mature trees – Varieties with the ability to appeal to the senses

Hillier Project Manager:

James Hillier

Plant Production:

Andlers Ash Field Grown Nursery and Broadmead Container Nursery

The Brief

For the RHS Hampton Court Palace Show 2017, Blind Veterans UK created a show garden titled ‘It’s All About Community’. Blind Veterans UK, a national charity dedicated to supporting individuals who have served in the Armed Forces or undertaken National Service and are now living with significant sight loss, aimed to create a circular garden.

The garden, designed by Andrew Fisher Tomlin was intended as a vibrant celebration of the beneficiaries, volunteers, and staff at Blind Veterans UK, with a special focus on ensuring enjoyment for those with visual impairments.

Incorporating woven structures and a diverse array of perennials, trees played a pivotal role in realising the gardens design. Andrew approached us to supply the necessary trees to fulfil the design ambitions.


We supplied 10 semi-mature trees for the show garden, each carefully chosen for their sensory appeal. This sensory element was achieved through either interesting bark textures, or, in the case of apple and pear trees, the potential for delicious tasting fruit.

Container stock was available for some of the trees, while others were carefully lifted from our dormant field nursery and nurtured with coir-wrapped rootballs. Clear tagging ensured that the progress of each tree could be monitored effectively. The designer, Andrew Fisher Tomlin personally tagged the trees on our nursery during the summer/autumn of 2016 and made two additional visits to track and document their growth.


The build schedule for the show was short, so it was essential that our deliveries were scheduled to link in with the contractor’s progress on site at RHS Hampton Court.

After the show, the plan was for the show garden to be permanently planted at the Blind Veteran Society Centre in Brighton. We arranged for all the trees to be returned to our container nursery to ‘recover’ from the show, ready for delivery and replanting in their final home in winter 2017.

Particular care and attention was given to ensure that the newly lifted rootball trees did not suffer from shock.

Project Summary

Being part of this project was highly gratifying, given its uplifting concept. We were thrilled that the garden not only secured a Gold Medal, but also received the ‘Best Construction’ Award at the show – a real testament of the exceptional work undertaken by Andrew Fisher Tomlin and the team at Blind Veterans UK.

Additionally, it was rewarding to receive positive feedback from show visitors, especially regarding the apple trees. Many remarked that the trees appeared as if they had been growing in the garden for years.

Our Value

  • Growers of our own trees on our field and container nurseries in Hampshire, to a very high-quality standard.
  • An extensive range of trees, allowing us to supply the required varieties.
  • Flexibility to work on projects with very time sensitive delivery requirements.

Key Trees

Acer griseum

Acer griseum, commonly known as the Paperbark Maple, was first introduced to England by the legendary …

Liquidambar styraciflua

Renowned for its unparalleled autumn hues, the American Sweetgum has become a popular choice for avenue …

View all Trees

Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Garden Designer said of the project;

“We work with Hillier Nurseries on time critical projects such as these because they are able to give us a flexibility with the supply of large trees that we can’t always get elsewhere. Great trees and great service!”