Published Wednesday, 29th May 2019 in Study at SRUC news

Garden design student Mari MacRitchie
Garden design student Mari MacRitchie

From crimping the locks of David Bowie and Simon le Bon to cultivating plants, Mari MacRitchie is enjoying quite a change in lifestyle.

The 61-year-old from Glasgow, who is studying for an HND in Garden Design at Scotland’s Rural College, has helped design a front garden for College Street – part of this year’s Gardening Scotland show which takes place this weekend (31 May to 2 June) at the Royal Highland Centre Edinburgh.

Mari started her career as a hair and makeup artist for film and television working with Bowie in the BBC drama Baal and Duran Duran’s lead singer on Top of the Pops.

After a trip to Australia in 1988, where she was introduced to Chinese medicine, she trained to be a shiatsu practitioner and ran a complementary and yoga centre in Glasgow. She continued the business for a couple of years in Largs, before moving even further west to the island of Great Cumbrae, where she opened a hair and therapy salon.

Mari working as a makeup artist

Mari working as a makeup artist

When she built a house on Millport, Mari took on the task of designing and planting the large garden.

“This inspired me to take a Practical Horticulture Course at Glasgow Botanic Gardens and then further my studies with an HND in Edinburgh,” she said.

Her team has created a garden for Gardening Scotland called Bayet – Arabic for home – which incorporates a curved bridge path, water channel and plants that can grow in both a Mediterranean and Scottish climate.

“I like a garden to feel like a welcome to a home, not empty or cluttered,” she said. “I would like to use the skills I am learning to help people get the most out of their garden in an affordable way.”

SRUC will occupy six plots on College Street with teams of students from its Edinburgh, Elmwood and Oatridge campuses submitting gardens which use practical and creative ideas to make streetscapes more appealing.

Find out more about studying Horticulture and Plantsmanship at SRUC.

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