The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) was on the cutting edge at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May when they asked Dave Fountain Designs to create The Mind's Eye Garden for them. The gold medal-winning entry for Best Fresh Garden served to give those in attendance the opportunity to see what it is like for people who are partially sighted (or have no sight at all) to walk in a garden landscape, according to a Sunday report from the Essex Chronicle on June 1, 2014.
This isn't the first time Dave Fountain has been asked to create an other-worldly experience in a garden setting, as he won the Gold and "Best in Show" award at the RHS Tatton Flower Show in 2001 for his and Kim Wilde's Alice in Wonderland garden.
Fountain and Wilde, a popular UK singer who went on to embrace gardening, along with Julie Toll, would go on to create another award-winning garden with their Bilbo Baggins Hobbit Garden from "Lord of the Rings" in 2002, according to the official Kim Wilde fan site Wilde Life.
This year, however, Fountain chose to create his winning flower and garden masterpiece without the aid of outside celebrities. And his Chelsea show creation in 2014 may have been the better for it, as the RNIB flower show entry managed to be both fantastical and realistic at the same time, incorporating the feeling of being inside a magical space (with water flowing over the exterior of the glass cube you enter in the garden), while also hosting a colorful arrangement of flowers, plants and textured materials on the outside of the cube.
It didn't hurt that actress and model Jerry Hall, former wife of the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, graced the exterior with her presence during the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show, prompting a photographer to immediately capture the moment and her bright red ensemble.
Dave Fountain Designs did the Royal National Institute of Blind People proud during the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show event held at the Chelsea Royal Hospital and The Great Pavilion May 20-24. And his entry joined others that included a host of modern designs, carved sculptures, unique water features, unusual whimsical additions, tons of hedges, plants and beautiful and bright color combinations. But Fountain's offering was truly the "Best Fresh Garden" because his Mind's Eye Garden showed those in attendance what it is like to experience a garden through blurred sight or no sight at all, making them experience a garden through smell, sound and touch rather than just through sight.