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Former RAF airman to showcase garden at RHS Malvern in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund

Martyn WilsonPhilip Jackson's sculpture placed at the heart of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park has won resounding reviews from the public and art world alike, winning the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture in 2013. The Memorial is regularly voted one of London's most popular tourist attractions, according to Trip Advisor.

The 42-year-old, from Worcester, wowed judges of the Festival Gardens initiative and beat off fierce competition to obtain a £3,000 bursary.

This will allow him to create his horticultural masterpiece The Journey, in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund. In total, four bursaries were awarded to successful applicants.

Martyn said: "When I decided to take on the build of a show garden I did think that perhaps I was biting off more than I could chew but the support from everyone at RHS Malvern, the Festival Gardens team and The Cotswold Gardening School has been fantastic.

"My design reflects the journey that British military personnel  undertake in leaving the relative safety of the UK for war zones before returning to the sanctuary, peace and comfort of home.

"I hope that the garden resonates with everyone that sees it and makes people appreciate what the Armed Forces go through to keep us safe."

The RAF Benevolent Fund was an obvious choice as a charity for Martyn. He retired from the RAF after serving for eight and a half years, both in Germany and during the Gulf War, as a Senior Aircraftsman. His brother and sister-in-law are still in active service and his father and grandfather were also RAF airmen.

'The Journey in support of the RAF Benevolent Fund' is a garden based on a field of war. Martyn's concept focussed on creating a juxtaposition of two themes – reflection and conflict.

The strong military theme runs throughout the design. Martyn incorporates reds and whites that he says represents the blood and bandages of a wartime field hospital. The use of white also aims to bring the theme of peace to the garden. Props such as helmets and original postcards sent to Worcestershire from the front line will feature in the garden.

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival runs from 8 May until 11 May. Tickets can be bought online and are also available on the gate. For more information on ticket prices, visit www.threecounties.co.uk/rhsmalvern.

0800 169 2942

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