The Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)

23 May 2016, 1:09 p.m.

The Morgan Stanley Garden for GOSH will appear at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week before moving to GOSH.

Designing a lasting legacy

The Morgan Stanley Garden for GOSH will appear at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week before being adapted and rebuilt at the hospital where it will provide a much needed, secluded and reflective space for parents and families of children undergoing treatment.

Morgan Stanley’s sponsorship of the garden is part of the company’s Global Alliance for Children’s Health, which goes back more than 40 years.

Since 2007, Morgan Stanley has raised over £12 million through corporate donations and employee fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Specifically, in 2012, The Morgan Stanley Clinical Building opened providing state-of-the-art operating theatres, modern heart and lung, kidney and neurosciences centres and inpatient wards for children with acute and chronic conditions.

Design inspiration

To gain inspiration for the design, Chris Beardshaw, the garden designer, together with his project team, met with parents, clinicians and some of the children being treated at the hospital, where they learnt of the essential requirement for a green space, which is close to the hospital wards and offers parents and families somewhere they can retreat to contemplate and gain perspective on their situation. The garden also creates a much needed private area in which clinicians can sit and talk to parents away from the busy wards.

The location for the garden is at the heart of the hospital, situated on the roof of a disused second storey building, surrounded by other 10-storey-high buildings that look out onto it.

The enclosed nature of the site only allows for a restricted amount of sunlight, which has shaped and informed the planting and schematics for the garden.

Woodland planting

Chris has predominately worked with woodland species to create a rich, green and verdant contrast to the buildings surrounding the garden. Sprinkled amongst the lush tapestry of foliage textures are pockets of colourful jewel-like planting, which burst through the tree canopy and the perennial understory, highlighting the vivacity and optimism of childhood.

Key to the planting scheme is the tree canopy provided by stunning specimens including Acer palmatum, Liriodendron tulipifera, and Cornus controversa. These trees are interspersed with a selection of large Taxus baccata domes. The architecture of the trees and topiary creates the ultimate framework for the understorey of perennial plants including Astilbe, Dicentra, Lamium, Hosta, Geraniums, Cardiocrinum, Peonies and Anchusa, that provide accents of white, blue, pink and purple, bursts of colour to punctuate the shades of green of that dominate the woodland garden.

The oak pavilions

The main pavilion at the head of the garden has been designed by Chris and is loosely inspired by the protective and nurturing style of Japanese Azumaya pavilions. Chris has designed three interlocking oak structures, which will help frame views of the garden, masking out the visual interference from the buildings around it. The pavilion is being built by Herefordshire company, Enchanted Wood. They are using solid French oak beams and posts of generous proportions to create a structure in keeping with the garden’s woodland-style planting scheme.

Two of the pavilions have a planted green roof, while the third section has a ceiling designed by Chris with an oak leaf fretwork design made from Corten Steel. The steel panels are also featured on some of the sides of the pavilions to provide a feeling of privacy and protection from the elements.


The pavilion will house bespoke cube seating made with specially approved hospital-grade fabric so that they can be part of the garden’s legacy at GOSH. Some of the seats feature wonderful artworks created by the patients at the hospital, which have been turned into a fabric pattern.


Highlighting Chris’ interest in the integration of artwork into landscapes the Show Garden is showcasing two beautiful sculptures. One is by Jilly Sutton, who has not exhibited at the show before. Her work, Fallen Deodar, is sculpted from oak and Verdigris bronze and it sits within the woodland planting scheme.

The second sculpture is a specially commissioned bronze by artist John O’Conner who has created a child figure which stands on a plinth at the top of the water canal that runs through the show garden. The sculpture captures the effervescence of children and their joy of life.

One of the most significant gardens of Chris’ Career

Commenting Chris Beardshaw said, “This project is one of the most significant and poignant gardens of my career and I feel fortunate to be able to partner with Morgan Stanley in creating what will be a lasting legacy for parents and families of the children who will be treated at GOSH now and in the future. I hope the garden will provide a reflective and restorative space for those who use it and provide a nurturing world away from its urban surroundings. I am passionate about the need for green space in our cities, where natural landscapes can provide a ’visual vitamin’ to benefit those who use them.”

Tim Johnson, Chief Executive, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity said, “After many months of research and planning, we are delighted to see the Morgan Stanley Garden for GOSH brought to life and it is even more fantastic than I imagined it would be. We are so very grateful to Chris Beardshaw and Morgan Stanley for creating this amazing garden. Being located in central London, green space is precious and this garden will make a real difference for families of children in the hospital’s care, providing them with a quiet, reflective space when they need time out from the ward.”

Morgan Stanley’s continued support for GOSH

Adding to the legacy of Morgan Stanley’s support for GOSH, the firm’s latest corporate fundraising activities are focused on raising £1.5 million over the next two years, to help the development of Morgan Stanley House, which will provide vital parent accommodation close to the hospital to help ensure that families can be close to their children during the most critical times.

The Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street is the second Show Garden Chris has designed for Morgan Stanley. In 2015, the firm asked Chris to create a garden which, after Chelsea, went on to provide the centrepiece for a highly successful community garden in Poplar, in the East End of London, as part of Morgan Stanley’s Healthy Cities Initiative.

Robert Rooney, Head of Morgan Stanley EMEA, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Chris Beardshaw again, following the success of last year’s Healthy Cities Garden, which is now at the heart of the Healthy London community project in Poplar. There is no-one better qualified to design a garden with two important and distinct purposes: to be a beautiful show garden at Chelsea Flower Show and then to play a lasting role as a private retreat for families whose children are undergoing treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Morgan Stanley is proud of its long standing relationship with Great Ormond Street Hospital, and this garden is another part of that story.”