After great success with a silver gilt award at the renowned Chelsea Flower Show in 2019, Kingston Maurward has once again joined up with local plant growers and suppliers to celebrate Dorset horticulture with a garden in this year’s Sanctuary Gardens category.
Using a visit to Kingston Maurward’s sister garden La Mortola, (The Hanbury Botanical Gardens) in Italy, as inspiration, the College’s own garden designer and lecturer, Michelle Brown, took ideas from these and the gardens of the French Riviera to create a space which fuses styles from Dorset and Europe. The theme is a melodic fusion of shade, light and movement, with emphasis on contrasting heights and depths throughout.
Much of the preparation will be done at the College’s Dorchester estate in the run up to the event, which takes place 24 – 28 May; students are making the sub frame for the elevated walkways, platforms and dynamic Social Den structure and entrance archway with the Blacksmithing & Welding department; Construction & Horticulture students will be preparing Western Red Cedar sourced locally for the platforms, and sanctuary boundary fences. These boundaries are made up of windblown branches and trees and provide a refuge for wildlife.
Horticulture staff and students are busily rearing and culturing the many herbaceous, resticos, and hardy exotic plants for the build in the week running up to the Show. Five metre Trachycarpus palm trees and a mixture of Bamboos, Acers, Magnolias, will be some of the feature plants.
For the build itself and the duration of the Show, staff and students and sponsors Goulds Garden Centre, Sherborne Castle Gardens, and Holme for Gardens will oversee the day to day running of the event, which expects around 168,000 visitors over the four days. The show is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, of which the Queen is patron, and traditionally takes place mid-May every year.
Project Lead and Head of Horticulture, Joanna Jeffery, and Designer, Michelle Brown, said: “We are really excited to be collaborating with our local garden industry and proud to show what our college can create, whilst highlighting climate change and sustainability. We are also keen to demonstrate our contribution towards zero waste by sourcing as many materials as we can from Kingston Maurward College’s 750 acre estate, and ensuring our carbon footprint is kept to a minimum.”