Former Royal Air Force serviceman seeks support to turn his Show Garden memorial dream into reality
A PROUD military family history has inspired gold medal-winning garden designer Martyn Wilson to dream up a poignant Show Garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival.
His ambitious vision will mark 100 years since the momentous year that the First World War ended and the world-class Royal Air Force was founded on April 1, 1918.
But he needs help to bring his vision to reality as he launches a Crowdfunding campaign to help secure the funds to craft vital pieces that will stand at the Three Counties Showground to remember the brave servicemen and women who have served in conflicts over the last 100 years.
Recognising such a significant milestone, Three Counties Showground has given over an area of land for the special garden ‘Memories of Service’ to remain after RHS Malvern Spring Festival is over. It will stand as a permanent tribute to those from Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire who served in the RAF. The garden will also highlight the three counties’ legacy, history and associations with the RAF as well as commemorating the end of the First World War.
Martyn, pictured second from right above, from Worcester, who served as a senior aircraftsman in the RAF, is the third generation in his family to have dedicated their careers to serving the country.
His brother Peter Wilson is a Warrant Officer at RAF Brize Norton along with his sister-in-law Sergeant Sim Rezazadeh-Wilson. His father Sergeant Barrie Wilson (pictured, left, at top of article) and his grandfather Flight Sergeant Arthur Brown (pictured below) were both very proud to serve in the RAF.
Martyn said: “The RAF reaching its 100th birthday is such a significant milestone that I felt it deserves all our recognition. Living in Worcester and having served at RAF Hereford, what better place than the RHS Malvern Spring Festival to create this garden.
“With three generations of my family having served in the RAF it is really personal and means so much to me to honour my family, friends and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“I hope that visitors, servicemen and women, veterans and their families will enjoy this tribute and the garden and be proud of the Royal Air Force and all it has achieved in just 100 years.”
Martyn has secured sponsorship for his Show Garden hedges and lawn but needs to raise funds for the landscaping and planting, which he estimates could cost £35,000 in total.
The garden will be full of subtle nods to aviation history in layout and design and aims to help raise funds for military charities at RHS Malvern.
Those who fund the project will be able to have the name of a loved one laser cut into one of the permanent panels surrounding the garden for £100.
To help Martyn reach his £35,000 funding target, please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/raf-100-centenary-garden-rhs-malvern-show-2018.
Tickets are now on sale for RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which takes place from Thursday, May 10 until Sunday, May 13. Free entry for children under the age of 16 is available throughout the festival. For more information on ticket prices, please call 0844 811 0050 (calls cost 7p per minute plus network extras) or visit www.rhsmalvern.co.uk.Enjoy more Kitchen Garden reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.