Derby College horticulture students are busy putting the finishing touches on their entrance to the show garden for this year’s Gardeners World Live show at the Birmingham NEC in June.
Mature students follow the level three curriculum at Broomfield Hall Land College in Morley, which has been specifically designed by horticulture teacher Mike Baldwin to bring together skills and knowledge in surveying, design, planting and building – ideal for students who want to start a gardening business.
As part of the part-time study program, the students all create several different elements of an exhibition garden which has been designed by one of the student cohorts, Rachel Pratt, and is supported by the Lilian Prime MS Center in Derby.
The Metamorphosis Garden is designed to mark change – reflecting different themes, including changes in humans, technology and nature, as well as the transition from the Derby MS Society to the Lilian Prime MS Centre, which provides support people affected by multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. conditions.
The design is inspired by the quote “if nothing changed there would be no butterflies” and the fact that the butterfly is the international symbol for MS.
The garden is entered through butterfly doors and follows a spiral path to the central feature. There is a chrysalis-shaped seat in the corner under a lilac pergola. Opposite is another curved seat in front of a waterfall planted with aquatic marginals.
To reflect the neurological part of the garden, there is a living wall in the shape of a human brain, made up of grasses, ferns and mosses and in the foreground topiary. Surrounding the garden are tiled trees that look like human nerve cells. There are interactive QR codes in the garden that people can scan to discover the inspiration behind the elements.
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Mr Baldwin said: “Rachel has created a stunning garden design full of highly imaginative planting, structural and technological features, which I am sure will amaze both show judges and visitors alike.
“Everyone has worked incredibly hard to create the various features of the garden and we will still be spending many more hours building it at the NEC before the show.”
Peter Milner, Chairman of the Trustees of the Lilian Prime MS Center in Derby, added: “We have worked with the horticultural team at Broomfield Hall for several years to provide the record and inspiration for their show gardens at Gardeners World Live. and we were delighted with the tally of trophies that their creations achieved.
“This time, we challenged students to create a garden design that recognizes and addresses the wide range of difficulties that people with multiple sclerosis might encounter during their lifetime, a condition that varies both in its complexity and unpredictability.
“Students spent time researching MS and talking to many of the users at our center and an incredible array of design ideas were presented to us for us to judge.
“We all agreed that Rachel’s Metamorphosis Garden really explained the change we made to our center and the changes in the condition itself.
“We look forward to feedback from the show judges and hope the garden will inspire visitors to learn more about this condition which affects the lives of so many in our local communities.”
Previously, the college’s horticultural team has won a series of awards at other shows as well as at Gardeners’ World, including the Chelsea Flower Show and the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.
This year, the Gardeners World Show runs from June 16-19.