The Diamond Jubilee Community Garden, Skipton
College Garden for Britain in Bloom
The Diamond Jubilee Community Garden was one of the main projects seen when Britain in Bloom judges visited Skipton this week (9th July). Whilst the town’s result will not be known until the Autumn, the judge’s comments were very positive and the garden is likely to be entered for a special award.
Craven College staff and students recently completed work on phase one of the new community garden at Newmarket Street in Skipton. The open, grassed space was selected by Skipton in Bloom as the ideal site for this prestigious project to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The garden was designed by Craven College Horticulture Tutor, Michael Myers and built primarily by students on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Horticulture. The site was surveyed and beds double dug before planting the one hundred roses (37 varieties) and associated herbaceous plants and bulbs along with five new trees.
Roses dominate the planting scheme with ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘Diamond Jubilee’ roses taking centre stage. Five more contemporary borders surround the centre bed acknowledging that 2012 is also Olympic year, the beds are loosely colour themed, inspired by the five interlocking Olympic rings. Six specially commissioned obelisks, one for each of the borders, representing the six decades of the Jubilee, add height and a support for climbing roses. The roses have been selected for colour, long-flowering season and perfume, however several were chosen because of their appropriateness to the project. ‘Olympic Spirit’, ‘Olympic Flame’, ‘Diamond Days Forever’, ‘Silver Jubilee’ and ‘Royal William’ all seemed appropriate.
The garden was officially opened on 3rd June 2012 as part of Skipton’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations by the Mayor of Skipton, Councillor Wendy Clark with local MP, Julian Smith also attending. The garden also formed part of the route when the Olympic torch visited Skipton on 24th June.
The garden has been well received by local people especially the elderly residents of Petyt Grove who look out onto the garden. Sue Duncan, Community Development Adviser for Yorkshire Housing Limited said how attractive the area is now and that in fine weather the garden is a popular picnic area. Brett Butler, Skipton Town Centre Manager commented that apart from Holy Trinity Church this was the only public garden space in the centre of Skipton and therefore had an important function in the town. Michael Myers said that the project formed an important part of the BTEC Horticulture course providing students with a real project that was of immense value to the local community, they could be justly proud of their achievement.
Craven College is a major supporter of Skipton in Bloom having redeveloped the Cenotaph, bus station and rose garden at Holy Trinity Church. Students have planted over 10,000 daffodils in the last three years and provided many of the hanging baskets and other containers that adorn the town centre.
The stone benches which replaced the crumbling concrete seats on the site were built by Craven College’s drystone walling volunteer, Shirley Addy and the obelisks and other galvanised steel structures by SE Fabrications, Cononley to designs by Michael Myers. The project for phase 1 cost about £4,500, all the labour was voluntary and stone for the seats was donated. Major sponsors are Craven District Council, Judith Addyman Memorial Fund, Skipton BID, Skipton Rotary Club, Skipton Town Council and Yorkshire Housing. Other sponsors include Brett Butler, Michael Myers, Councillor Robert Heseltine, Skipton Gardener’s Club, Skipton in Bloom, Steve Woodhead and Rita Feddo. Through the generosity of sponsors funding for stage one of the garden was secured, however businesses and members of the public have and can still sponsor the garden for £100, £50 or £10 which could fund a stone bench, tree or rose bush respectively.
For further information on the Jubilee Garden contact
Michael D. Myers (Horticulture Co-ordinator)