The Evaders Garden (jardin des évadés) at the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Rédigé par Alan dans la rubrique Les AlliésHommage et recueillement

The Evaders Garden at the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Designed by John Everiss and set in wartime France the garden portrays an RAF airmen who has just parachuted out of his aircraft after being hit by the Germans. His ghostly image briefly shelters in an old abandoned church with his parachute trailed out before him. Inscribed on the walls are the names of the people who would help him but would later pay with their lives.

Stan Everiss
Stan Everiss, the designer’s father, was an RAF evader who was nursed and helped to freedom by a French family who owned a local garage and were part of the Chauny Resistance in Northern France. Alfred Logeon and his family had found him in a ditch suffering a spinal injury after his plane had been shot down over occupied France on 17th April 1943. The other six crew members survived the crash and all but one managed to get back to England via various evasion lines. (link).
Inspired by these acts of selfless bravery, the garden’s design reflects the bond between helper and evader. A sculpture of a young pilot, seconds after parachuting into France, hides in the ruins of a war-damaged church. His eyes look up to a stained glass window where two young French people are reaching out to help him. The wall has a code poem engraved into a tablet, as well as the names of Resistance fighters, many of whom lost their lives during the war.

Crash site at Mesnil-St-Laurent (Aisne)

When Stan arrived safely back in England the BBC broadcast the message "Les muguets fleurissent encore" translated as "The lilies bloom again" to let his French helpers know that he had got back safely.

After the war Stan raised money for the RAF Evasion Society sending funds back to help French helpers who needed financial assistance.

The garden was commissioned by Chorley Council and after the show will be permanently located at Astley Park, Chorley, Lancashire, as a war memorial. It will also be the centrepiece for a flower show being held at Chorley on Saturday 1st August and Sunday 2nd August. 

Monique Logeon, aged 86, surviving member of the family that helped Stan to get back to England, appeared as a guest of honour at the opening of the Evaders Garden on the first day of the Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden won the silver gilt medal.

Ginette Logeon

Photo taken in front of the garage Logeon at Chauny in May 1943
On the right : Stan Everiss and two of the crew - John Ford and Hugh Mackinnon
(Photo from the french magazine Historama, issue no. 209 - March 1969)

L'histoire de l'évasion de Stan Everiss et son équipe (lien)
More photos of the garden (link)
Evasion networks in France (link)