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23 May 2024

Golden success for Dr Su Lwin and Professor Chris Griffiths OBE at the Chelsea Flower Show

A dermatology-themed garden, the Burma Skincare Initiative’s Spirit of Partnership Garden, has been awarded a coveted RHS Gold Medal at the 2024 Chelsea Flower Show

Burma Skincare Initiative Stupa RHS Spirit of Partnership
From left to right, Dr Su Lwin, Garden Designer Helen Olney and Professor Chris Griffiths

A garden inspired by the story of the Burma Skincare Initiative, a charity co-founded by Professor Chris Griffiths OBE, King’s College Hospital consultant dermatologist and Emeritus Professor, and Dr Su Lwin, Dermatologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Honorary Lecturer at King’s College London, has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gold Medal Award and the Best in Category Award for Sanctuary Gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024.

The Burma Skin Initiative supports patients with severe skin conditions and the healthcare professionals who take care of them. The Burma Skincare Initiative Spirit of Partnership Garden tells the story of dermatological healthcare in Burma (Myanmar) and is inspired by the collaborative nature of their work.

Chris and Su visited the 2021 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and were struck by the global publicity that could be achieved for the charity by showcasing its work through the narrative of a Chelsea Garden.

The garden tells the story of the Initiative with plants found in Burma that can also grow in the UK, and includes many barks, moss and lichen to represent skin disease affecting people supported by the charity. The garden features a viewing point of a traditional Burmese stilt house made from recycled timber and brings together the importance of partnership in its management and goal of putting Myanmar and skin health on the world stage.

Chris and Su helped to provide the inspiration and some of the hands-on work for creating the Burma Skin Initiative Spirit of Partnership Garden, collaborating with designer Helen Olney and Ross Conquest from the landscaping team at Conquest Creative Spaces.

The garden is truly beautiful, incorporating Burmese plants that will grow in the UK as well as traditional Burmese architectural features… and not a single begonia in sight! Many congratulations to Su and Chris for their role in creating this inspiring and informative space.

Professor John McGrath, Head of St John's Institute of Dermatology

The Royal Horticultural Society crowns the best gardens in the UK with annual awards at the Chelsea Flower Show, explore the Burma Skincare Initiative Spirit of Partnership Garden here.

In this story

Su  Lwin

Dermatology Registrar, Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Genetic Skin Disease Group

John  McGrath

Professor of Molecular Dermatology