How to move a garden on to Great Ormond Street’s roof

How to move a garden on to  Great Ormond Street's roof

Volunteers from Hadlow College near Tonbridge took part in the BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build programme to help Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The programme, which was shown last Thursday (November 10), is presented by Nick Knowles, a former pupil of Skinners’ Grammar School in Tunbridge Wells.

It saw 16 students and two members of staff move a garden from the Chelsea Flower Show to the rooftop of Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The summer scheme saw the volunteers from the college’s Garden Design, Landscape Management, Horticulture and RHS Diploma courses relocate Chris Beardshaw’s Gold medal-winning creation.

They provided their time and expertise for six days of the three-week project, from May 23 to June 10, in order to help improve the lives of children who are patients at the London hospital.

Sophie Leathart, an RHS Level 2 student, had a very personal motivation for volunteering, saying: “I was particularly interested in helping because my son was diagnosed with an eye condition at Great Ormond Street when he was six weeks old.

“We went up regularly to the hospital as he was growing up. He is now 19 years old, at university and studying Computer Science. I’m glad I can give something back to Great Ormond Street.”

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the garden will provide ‘a much needed, private and reflective space for parents and families of the children undergoing treatment’.

The design reflects woodland diversity, with an azumaya or Japanese summer house and a collection of hedges, mixed topiary and mature trees providing dappled shade.

Renee Dewhurst, Science Technician at Hadlow, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for us to do our bit for the hospital’s young patients and their families.

“All the volunteers were very keen to dedicate their time to such a compassionate project and were hugely excited about the build.”

The programme is available on iPlayer at

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