'The Habit of Living' - a garden in support of Diabetes UK by Karen Tatlow and Katherine Hathaway

RHS Medal - Silver-Gilt

Garden Name: 'The Habit of Living’ – a garden in support of Diabetes UK

Garden Designers: Karen Tatlow & Katherine Hathaway

Garden Sponsors: Tippers Ltd, MJL Garden Design, Ethan Mason Paving, Urban Street DesignsMaze Rattan Ltd 

Contractor: MJL Garden Design

This is a small, beautiful, private garden for use by patients, visitors and staff at a UK Diabetes Centre.

Designed to raise the profile of Diabetes UK the garden highlights the scale of the condition which affects more people than cancer and dementia combined.

Throughout the design, there are references to Diabetes UK, and the journey made by someone diagnosed with diabetes. From diagnosis through to managing the condition well.

You'll find a darker, difficult to navigate path leading to an easier, brighter pathway. The planting follows this journey. Graduating from darker hues of plums and purples through to lighter hues of blues and whites.

The garden has a seating area for quiet reflection with loved ones. The light and dark porcelain cladding of the feature wall represents the highs and lows of managing the condition.

Sculptural metal graphs reflect the continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels. Whilst water feature jets symbolise the frequency of diagnosis.

About the Designers

Karen Tatlow

Karen has always been creative. Whether it be through dance in her earlier years or later studying architecture and interior design.

She is also a professional make-up artist trained by Ruby Hammer from the TV series 10 Years Younger. This led her into the corporate world where she devised creative business solutions at Estee Lauder, Clarins and LVMH.

Throughout this time she used her creative background to design gardens as an amateur. Karen took the plunge to follow her passion, and qualified with distinction in Garden Design. She has gone on to set up her business Karen Tatlow Garden Design.

Karen now has her own design studio at New Fulfen Cottage, nestled in the Old English Rose Garden. Here she creates with her two dogs Rolo and Mars by her feet!

Katherine Hathaway

Lark Hall Studios is led by Katherine Hathaway, an award-winning garden designer. Having graduated with distinction from the Pickard School of Garden Design, Katherine also holds an RHS qualification in horticulture. She is about to sit her final exams to secure her RHS Diploma.

Growing up in a large garden complete with vegetable plot, fruit cage and greenhouse, Katherine has always gardened. She even managed to continue her passion when she lived in a flat and only had a balcony! Her passion for textiles especially quilts, brings a strong feel for colour and pattern into her garden and planting design.

Katherine’s philosophy is that the best gardens work in harmony with their surroundings, even if they are using modern materials in a traditional setting. Well-designed gardens are often deceptively simple. The designer’s discipline is in knowing when to stop and what to take out.