Broomfield Blog

Broomfield Hall College’s show garden

‘Revelation’ is Broomfield Hall College’s show garden entry for the BBC Gardeners’ World Live show at the NEC in June. Mike Baldwin, senior lecturer for horticulture, is the man behind the Revelation idea and design. It will be the largest garden at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this year, and Mike’s most ambitious yet of his 25 show gardens to date, measuring 25m by 15m, and involving around 50 horticulture students.

So, what can the public expect from the ‘Revelation’ show garden? Where did the idea come from, and how do you prepare for such an undertaking?

Here’s what Mike had to say:

“This year’s garden will lead visitors past a dramatic scene of four life-size wooden horse sculptures mounted within a water feature and through 6ft golden gates into four separate ‘rooms’. Students have designed the rooms - discovery, reflection, love and joy - all centred around a peaceful area with an oak tree in a wildflower meadow.

Many of the plants we will be using have been grown or potted on by students, which will be planted alongside hand-crafted features such as seating areas, a tear-drop pool and swing. Water fountains, mood lighting and background music are also incorporated into the design.

Where did the idea come from?

I had been praying one morning and was reminded of four horses. I must have been thinking about Versailles as well and where I've seen that kind of image. I then thought Revelation, you know it's got that image. I had taken some funerals and one of the loveliest verses is, 'In my Father's house are many rooms'. I thought that would be lovely to have rooms in our garden and have students put forward what kind of room they would like. The third part of the garden concept was very much about 'He shall wipe away all our tears' and this could be represented by an oak tree to symbolise strength.

Bringing these ideas together would enable different styles within a garden, with drama on the front, peace with the long wildflower grass on the back, so there's balance; and you've got the compartments, which would be an ideal opportunity for students to have some ownership. To help students with the design element I thought I could organise a study tour to visit inspiring gardens like Sissinghurst, Hidcote and Great Dixter, Christopher Lloyd’s garden. So I began to see this could be a really interesting year for students, starting with a study tour and finishing on building this show garden.

The idea was borne pretty much within a couple of days of finishing last year’s Gardeners’ World live event. I ran the idea past Bob Sweet, manager (check) who said,”Mike, if there's any way we can help you to do it, let's do it." That really gave me an incredible amount of encouragement and confidence to do it. Plus, of course, the team of students had just built ‘Chronicles of Narnia’, getting a platinum award, so it felt right to consider such an undertaking.

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RHS Chatsworth Flower Show Medal News

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Whilst one team of horticulture students have been busy preparing for the BBC Gardeners’ World Live, fellow Royal Horticultural Society Students together with Broomfield Hall and Garden Volunteers have been busy at the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for the RHS Flower Show 2019 and the news is in.

Chatsworth 2019 1

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We Reveal Our Show Garden Centre Piece 

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Whilst we continue the preparations of our Revelation Garden at the BBC Gardeners' world live, four horses have arrived to a secret location ready to take centre stage.

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Revelation - the Searching Room

This year’s Broomfield Hall College’s ‘Revelation’ show garden for the BBC Gardeners’ World Live event in June will take visitors past life size horse sculptures and through golden gates into four garden ‘rooms’ depicting the emotions of searching, reflection, love and joy.

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Time to Reflect in the Revelation Show Garden 

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Visitors to the Revelation show garden at the BBC Gardeners’ World Live Event in June can expect to experience a variety of different garden styles within the college’s 2019 show garden.mel gard

Four rooms, each ‘room’ hoping to portray different emotions - searching, reflection, love and Joy - have been designed by students studying horticulture this year at Broomfield Hall College.

Jayne and Caroline, both studying RHS Garden Planning with senior lecturer, Mike Baldwin, were delighted to have their designs chosen and combined to represent the reflective (blue) /melancholy garden - the second of the four garden rooms.

To understand more about their thoughts behind their design, we asked them some questions:


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