19th May 2014 by emmadurnford

19th May 2014

Today was the day. Press Day at the RHS Chelsea Flower show and I went to photograph the ‘First Touch’ garden. ‘First Touch’ is the charity which supports the neonatal unit of St George’s hospital in Tooting, South West London,. Every year the unit cares for in excess of 600 babies many of which have been born prematurely. It was an amazing day.

After months of planning and three weeks of solid work the garden looked stunning. It was designed by Patrick Collins who has won a number of Gold and Silver Gilt medals from both the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower shows over the years. My friend Sarah Collins is the charity director of ‘First Touch’ and has been involved since the premature birth of their daughter Isobel (Izzy) some thirteen years ago.

Our aim for the day was to promote the garden to raise the profile of the charity and on Press Day the best way to do this is to get as many celebrities to the garden as the ‘pap’ follow them everywhere. The bright start to this was the formal opening by TV breakfast presenter Susanna Reid in a bright pink jumpsuit that perfectly matched the dress of one of four ‘graduates’ from the neonatal unit of St George’s hospital. Babies who have left the unit are known as graduates and we were lucky to have four with us on the day. Ben is fourteen (nearly fifteen he was keen to point out), Katie is thirteen, Lucas is 10 and Skyla just five years old. All were born prematurely but have grown up into lovely people - very mature for their age.

We has a number of visitors including Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Piers Morgan and Brendan Cole from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Here is a link to my Flickr album of the day, may of which will be used for future press publicity -


It’s now a waiting game until the medals are awarded tomorrow. In the meantime, check out @NicolaEastwood 365 project as she was there throughout the week and has some brilliant photos, including one of a marriage proposal in the garden - the first at RHS Chelsea in 101 years!!

(NB ignore the metadata date - it's defaulted to the time I made the montage!)
What a wonderful story and such a fab collage too. I would just love to go there - I must make it one day!
May 25th, 2014  
What a perfectly lovely garden and gorgeous collage, fav for me. What a great charity, and how nice that four "grads" were there! Just took a look at your shots on Flickr--you have been doing wonderful work Emma, from both an aesthetic and a charitable point of view.
May 29th, 2014  
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