The Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden aims to raise awareness of epilepsy and the challenges that both sufferers and their families experience today.

Craftsman William Morris’s daughter Jenny developed epilepsy in 1876. It carried enormous stigma in Victorian times and had a profound effect on the Morris family. In response to this historical situation the garden aims to raise awareness of epilepsy and the challenges that people living with the condition and their families still face today.

Embroidered Minds, a cross disciplinary collaboration was instigated by Leslie Forbes and based around her researches and subsequent novel Embroidered Minds of the Morris Women which explores the tragic ‘conspiracy of silence surrounding William Morris’s family and Jenny’s experience of epilepsy as fiction based in facts.

Leslie died in July 2016 following an epileptic seizure but the collaborative project continues as she intended, to challenge ignorance of the condition today. The garden design was initiated by Leslie and old friend Kati Crome and realised by Kati, Leslie's husband Andrew Thomas and other members of the collaboration.

See more about Embroidered Minds and the background to the project at:

Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden Plan

Included in the garden are plants often seen in William Morris designs such as Acanthus mollis and Acanthus spinosus and also some which were used as early treatments for epilepsy, including Valeriana officinalis.

See more details about the garden at:

Embroidered Minds Epilepsy Garden perspective

Stand No 562, Serpentine Walk, RHS Chelsea Flower Show - May 2018

The garden has three sections representing different lived experiences of epilepsy: first the calm pre-seizure mind; second, the chaotic state of the brain during seizures; and finally, the cumulative effects of unusual neural connections after living with seizures for a long time.

A vertical living wall referencing William Morris designed surface patterns, oak bench, tiled path and foreground planting are interrupted by a seizure represented through planting. The vitality of the post-seizure section also reflects the hope of a brighter future for epilepsy sufferers and their families through greater awareness and understanding of the condition.

The oak bench representing an EEG readout, starts as a calm resting place and is then disrupted with the chaos of a seizure. Specially commissioned from furniture designer Toby Winteringham, the bench is created with steam-bent oak secured with copper rivets and supported by rusted steel legs.

Running below the bench is a ceramic tiled path designed by artist Sue Ridge and designer/ceramist Andrew Thomas. Based on designs by William Morris the tiles are laid in a disintegrating pattern representing different aspects of epilepsy, transforming into neurological and seizure based images and ‘glitches’ as they run under the chaotic end of the bench.

The garden is partly sponsored by Epilepsy Society and Young Epilepsy, with some of the young people resident with Young Epilepsy at their site in Surrey helping to grow a selection of the plants.

Garden Design by
Kati Crome Garden Design

80 High Street

Great Missenden

Bucks HP16 0AN

01494 868705 / 07973 407878

With Thanks to
Epilepsy Society

Chesham Lane

Chalfont St Peter

Bucks SL9 0RJ

Enquiries 01494 601 300

Helpline 01494 601 400

With Thanks to
Young Epilepsy

St Piers Lane


Surrey RH7 6PW

Contact us 01342 832 243

Helpline 01342 831 342

Visual Artist
Sue Ridge

8 Wavertree Road

London SW2 3SW

07941 233088

Instagram  susan.ridge

Embroidered Minds Collaborator

Andrew Thomas

3 Alwyne Villas

London N1 2HG

07788 417467

Embroidered Minds Collaborator

Conway Landscapes


Tilekiln Green

Great Hallingbury

Bishops Stortford

Herts CM22 7TQ

01279 508 887

Sustainable Living Wall

The Old Dairy, Ham Farm

Main Road


West Sussex PO18 8EH

01243 572 118

Plant Supplier & Nursery
Roger Platts

Hartfield Road


Kent TN8 5NH

01732 863 318

Plant Supplier & Nursery
Wargrave Nursery

New Bath Road (A4)

Wargrave, Reading

RG10 8AL

01189 404160


The Old Allotment site, next to
Wyevale Garden Centre
Aylesbury Road
Bucks HP22 6BD

01296 622443

Plant Supplier
Orchard Dene Nurseries

Orchard Dene Nurseries

Lower Assendon

Henley on Thames

Oxon RG9 6AL

01491 575075

Hortus Loci

Hound Green


Hampshire RG27 8LQ

0118 932 6495

Toby Winteringham

The Barn, Whitehouse Farm
Queen Elizabeth Farm
King’s Lynn
Norfolk PE32 1EZ

01553 841 829

Digital Ceramics

The Old School House
Outclough Road
Brindly Ford
Stoke on Trent ST8 7QD

01782 5172 843