Women’s health charity show garden to get a helping hand from Norwegian Log

Norwegian Log Buildings will be helping a charity promote its vital health awareness work at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next month.

Landscape architect Emma Bannister is working with the charity National Association of Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS) to build a show garden to raise awareness of the very common women’s health condition, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS or PMT) – and Reading-based Norwegian Log will be lending them one of its contemporary garden buildings so they can engage with, and educate, show visitors about the condition.

It is estimated as many as 30% of women can experience moderate to severe PMS, with 5-8% suffering severe symptoms (around 800,000 in the UK). Common symptoms include mood swings, depression, tiredness, fatigue or lethargy, anxiety, feeling out of control, irritability, aggression, anger, sleep disorder and food cravings. The condition can have a devastating impact on countless women and their families.

The show garden, called ‘PMS: Outside Inside for NAPS’, has been designed cleverly to show the mood contrasts experienced by a PMS sufferer. At first view, visitors will see an area of hazel woodland. A closer look reveals the hidden centre of the garden behind, and through, a curving willow screen. At the garden’s heart is a corkscrew hazel in a bed of Bowles’s golden grass. The healthy, ‘normal’ and energetic feel of the outside of the garden contrasts sharply with the solitary, maniacal and distorted mood of the inside. All planting will be native – hazels, ferns and a variety of wildflowers and grasses such as honesty, wild carrot and tufted hair grass.

To the side of the show garden will sit the garden building, built from solid log, where charity trustees and volunteers will be on hand to explain the impact of the condition on many women’s lives. They will be encouraging sufferers, their partners and families, to share and write down their personal stories. A special post box for these stories will be positioned in the Inovar building.

Emma Bannister and Nick Forrester Hampton Court

Emma and Nick at the show

Nick Forrester, MD of Norwegian Log, said: “When we were approached by Emma and she explained the concept behind the garden and the worthwhile work carried out by the NAPS charity, we jumped at the opportunity to help out. Our building is built from solid log so will fit in perfectly alongside the woodland, natural mood of the garden. We hope it will help the charity reach out to as many people as they can.”

Emma Bannister said: “The show garden is a fantastic chance to encourage people to talk and learn more about PMS and the Inovar building offers a sheltered, light and comforting setting to do this. The NAPS charity is delighted to receive Norwegian Log’s support and is very grateful to have the use of the building, even more so if the British summer weather is unkind!”

The garden has been co-designed by Ben Donadel of EMJ Architects and is being supported by Holistic Insurance Services and Monro Consulting. Volunteers from the charity Plantlife will be on hand to talk about the native planting. The different willow features have been crafted by Jay Davey Bespoke Willow.

Norwegian Log will also be exhibiting with another of its contemporary garden buildings at the show, which runs from 5-10 July, on stand HC510, between the Festival of Roses and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust show garden.


Notes for editors: Since the 1980s, Norwegian Log Buildings has been erecting buildings, classrooms and pool enclosures for schools across the UK. It has also supplied over 1,000 buildings to private clients, companies, holiday parks, local authorities, charities and public bodies. With a 30-strong team, the firm is based in Reading, Berkshire.