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Garden design planned for GWL return

Horticulture students at Derby College Group (DCG) are ploughing ahead with their entry into this year’s Gardeners World Live exhibition and competition at the NEC later this month.

The mature students are on the Level 3 study programme which has been specially devised by DCG Horticulture lecturer Mike Baldwin to bring together skills and knowledge in surveying, design, plantsmanship and construction – ideal for students who want to establish a gardening business.

As part of the part-time study programme, the students, overseen by Mike Baldwin, have designed a garden which celebrates and unveils the Derby MS Society’s transformation into The Lilian Prime Trust.

The main work of the Trust is to provide housing for people with Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions, and the garden marks a new direction in which the charity wishes to travel. It also acknowledges the journey that people who live with MS take to finding peace and happiness.

The group is currently putting the finishing touches to the various elements to the garden and growing the plants which will feature in the garden on show Gardeners World Live between August 26 and 29 2021.

Derby College students' garden plan

Visitors to the Lilian Prime Garden will walk through an arch and then alongside a person living with MS, represented by the figure sculpture in the centre of the design, towards a structure at the end of the garden – signifying a new home provided by the Lilian Prime Trust.

Features in the wheelchair-friendly garden will include planting which echo the shape and pink and blue colours of the Trust logo, a soothing water feature and a bench which allows visitors to relax, breath everything in and feel at ‘home’.

The planting is intended to create a sense of calm and well-being – creating shade and height and raised beds to represent longevity.

The part time students involved in the project are Darren Purdy, Sue Arthur, Jackie Emery, Rhys Green, Sam Duffy and Dave Scanlon.

Darren, who is hoping to change careers and work in garden design in the future, explained: “This has been an incredible opportunity to design and create a garden for the prestigious Gardeners World Live and to showcase our skills to a huge audience.”

Sue continued: “We are doing all the work from growing the plants to creating the metal sculpture and laying the path so it is a real team effort.”

Jackie concluded: “People have come to really appreciate their gardens during the pandemic and I think more will appreciate the thought and time that has gone into the designs at the show.”