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Craven College Show Garden Wins Gold at Harrogate Flower Show

Published 30 April

After an absence of five years, Craven College has struck gold yet again with one of its innovative gardens at last week’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

This year’s offering, entitled ‘From Pallet to Palette to Palate’ was an entry in the new Square Yards garden competition. The College display comprised a series of ten 3’ x 3’ planters made from recycled wooden pallets offering a literal interpretation to the square yard garden brief. Each planter demonstrated how simple containers made from cheap materials could be used in novel and interesting ways. The garden comprised containers used to create a vegetable garden, pond, bog garden (with carnivorous plants), childs play garden, ornamental planters, seat and a colourful compost bin with a Rubics cube design. All of the planters were painted in vibrant colours, some with students artwork.

The winning entry was a collaborative project involving three different groups of students.

Evolve (Ripon) students led the project as part of their Level 1 and 2 Practical Horticulture Qualifications based at Ripon Walled Garden.  The students designed, built (including the equally tricky job of dismantling the pallets) and painted most of the planters. They also grew many of the plants used in the garden. Evolve is a small, inclusive post 16 College based in the centre of Ripon that works alongside Craven College.

Level 1 Land-based Studies students at Craven College (Skipton) also built and painted several of the planters as part of their work-based learning.

Craven College (Skipton) RHS Level 3 Horticulture students studying garden design modules assembled the garden at the showground and planted the containers.

Horticulture lecturer Michael Myers said: “The award was more than I could have hoped for and a great endorsement of all the hard work that the students had put into this project.”

All of the planters will be re-used at the new Evolve premises based in Ripon and at St Wilfrid’s bungalow, part of Ripon Community Link.

It was a double celebration for the RHS students who learned last week that all seven had passed their ‘Understanding Garden Survey Techniques and Design Principles’ exam taken in February. Not only did all seven pass but all achieved pass with commendation, no mean feat when the National average for this exam is often as low as 10% achieving this grade.


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