Extinction at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

Top Design student's 'shock and awe' climate change Show Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021

RHS Global Impact Garden: 'Extinction' designed by Felicity O’Rourke

KLC School of Design are delighted to announce that its Garden Design Diploma Top Student of 2020, Felicity O’Rourke will be showcasing her first conceptual garden for the RHS this July at Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021.

The RHS Global Impact Garden: Extinction addresses the 6th Mass Extinction threat to our planet, caused by our continual exploitation and destruction of its natural resources and ancient ecosystems leading to catastrophic climate change. Its purpose is to shock people into both an understanding of the scale of the crisis and an appreciation of the scale of the behavioural change that we need to affect.

We have always believed that the radical change in our lifestyles was too hard, but Covid-19 proving that a radical change is possible for the long-term survival of our natural world and our species.

Felicity O’Rourke, at Felicity O’Rourke Garden Design commented:

As I used to be a commercial airline pilot myself, I was drawn to the idea of using the drama of a crashed aircraft to bring a sense of shock and awe to emphasize the concept behind this garden design. After all, to see one of mankind’s greatest achievements in science and technology broken and destroyed conveys a powerful sense of loss, especially given that our thirst for air travel has exacerbated both climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“I hope this ‘shock and awe’ conceptual show garden will instil an emotive response in the public, thereby provoking further discussion and subsequent action on how we can change our behaviour to eliminate the extinction threat that faces our natural world and the very existence of our own species.”


With previous careers as a Management Consultant and more recently, as a B737and A320 Commercial Airline Pilot, Felicity O’Rourke commenced her Diploma in Garden Design at KLC in January 2020. Since then, she has been awarded Bronze Medal at Moscow Flower Show 2020, Distinction Diploma in Garden Design, ‘Top KLC Student 2020’ and the ‘Debbie Roberts Award for Vision and Excellence’. She has recently set up her own practice, Felicity O’Rourke Garden Design in Wimbledon, South-West London.

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Established in 1982 by Principal Jenny Gibbs OBE, KLC School of Design was founded on the three core values of innovation, creativity and integrity. The school has grown and developed over the past three decades but the core values remain and have been infused into every aspect of our teaching and business practices.

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