An autism-friendly garden inspired by the calming ruins of a Suffolk abbey is to appear as one of the gardens in the run for gold at this years’ RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden, designed by Frederic Whyte, is named ‘The Pro Corda Garden: A Suffolk Retreat’ and is the result of a partnership between Leiston-based music and education charity Pro Corda and a Chelsea gold-medallist from Saxmundham.

The garden aims to be an inspiring backdrop for music performance and a sensory sanctuary for children with autism. Pro Corda is one of Europe’s leading music organisations and hopes to have the RHS garden rebuilt at the abbey once the show has finished.

Andrew Quatermain, Pro Corda’s chief executive and artistic director, said: “Frederic’s design is in perfect tune with the heritage of our home at Leiston Abbey and the mission of our work. It’s fantastic that the garden acts as a performance space, while also being a perfect escape for the autistic children who attend our outreach courses.”

Mr Whyte was inspired by the cottages, churches and landscape of his native county, Suffolk, to give the garden some local character. All the work on the garden has been made by local companies too, adding to the home-grown feel of the garden.

Suffolk has many inspiring gardens to visit if you are staying at our parks on your caravan holidays over the summer, and you can also visit the ruins at Leiston Abbey, which is close to our holiday parks – and maybe take a day trip to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and see the Pro Corda garden in action!

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Photo by: Ashley Dace