Mark Ramprakash Opens Chelsea Garden

  • 4 June 2021 4:55 pm


Mark Ramprakash opens Chelsea Garden

Chelsea Flower Show 2008

Mark Ramprakash, the 2007 Wisden Cricketer of the Year, England and Surrey batsman, and winner of Strictly Come Dancing, opened the Pemberton Greenish Recess Garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Designed by Paul Hensey of Elysium Design Ltd with Knoll Gardens’ Neil Lucas, this Urban Garden has been created as an example of a real, working garden that could be transplanted to, or reproduced in, any city location. It offers a sanctuary amidst the growing urban sprawl – a safe haven in which to relax and unwind.

“Our garden forces you to enter, sit and relax,” said Paul Hensey. “With its tessellated high steel wall and excavated sitting area we have played with perspective, so in the same way as getting into a bath, your eye level is lowered and the plants take on a completely different character. The foaming, almost frothy nature of the ornamental grasses used within the planting just enhances that bath-like feel.”

“Of course grasses score very highly in urban conditions,” adds Neil Lucas. “Soaring summer temperatures are frequently amplified by confined spaces yet many grasses are well able to cope. By combining durability with practicality and beauty they can be ideally suited for survival in the urban jungle”.

Plants and people
It is not just plants that need to survive the urban jungle, people can also need help to thrive.

“Everyone needs a place within our urban community to express themselves, relax, or even play,” said garden sponsor Pemberton Greenish’s Senior Partner Damian Greenish. “Yet within a dense cityscape there are many who do not have the luxury of even a small urban garden.”

It is with this larger community in mind, that specialist property law firm, Pemberton Greenish invited Mark Ramprakash to officially open the Pemberton Greenish Recess Garden.

“We have sponsored the Surrey Cricket Academy for the last eight years and are well-aware of the great work it does in developing young players,” said Damian. “For Chelsea we wanted to link this involvement, not only with our Urban Garden but also with our London environment.

“Capital Kids Cricket is a London-based charity devoted to keeping children off the streets and out of trouble. They work, quite literally, with thousands of children every year, and we are delighted that their co-founder, William Greaves was also able to join us at Chelsea to receive a range of cricketing memorabilia that Capital Kids can either use themselves or auction, to raise money to further their work”.

“Within the city many children don’t have the luxury of being able to play in their own garden,” said Mark Ramprakash. “I was lucky. When I was young my dad and I used to play cricket in our front garden. We’d lay wooden stumps up against the garage doors for a wicket and he would bowl at me for hours. I guess my love of cricket goes right back to those early days.

“It’s great to now be able to help Capital Kids Cricket and encourage more children from urban backgrounds to take up the sport”.

Thanks to Capital Kids cricket is now taught in the great majority of primary schools across London and the charity is actively targeting secondary schools to ensure this developing pool of talent can be progressed further. “Cricket is not just a game,” said Capital Kids’ co-founder William Greaves. “For many children it can provide an opportunity to develop the essential ingredients of social behaviour, including teamwork, respect for rules, personal goals and leadership potential”.

“We are delighted to have worked with both Paul and Neil to create the Pemberton Greenish Urban Garden,” said Damian. “The Chelsea Flower Show encompasses all that is best in the world of horticulture, and we think that they are both at the top of their game,” adds Damian. “Mark Ramprakash of course is already a winner and we hope that by coming together to help Capital Kids Cricket we will bring out the best in children across London and help not only future generations of cricketers but also those simply in need of some growing space within our increasingly dense capital city”.