A show garden called Hidden Depths lived up to its name after winning the College Street category at this year’s Gardening Scotland.
The garden was designed by Elizabeth Callaghan, a gardener and technician at the Oatridge campus of Scotland’s Rural College, with the help of a team of former students and volunteers.
A second garden called Home, by garden design student Sarah Stewart and a team from SRUC’s Edinburgh campus, won the People’s Choice award.
Both gardens, along with another called Bayet – Arabic for home – were also given Silver Gilt awards by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, while a further three SRUC gardens won Silver awards.
All six gardens were part of a new feature called College Street, introduced for the 20th Gardening Scotland show in Edinburgh to highlight new and upcoming talent.
Sarah Stewart with the Home team's Silver Gilt award
Teams of horticulture and garden design students from SRUC’s Edinburgh, Oatridge and Elmwood campuses were asked to come up with a design for a small front garden.
Hidden Depths was designed for a young couple who needed off-street parking but were looking for an attractive front garden, while Home was a garden of two halves, with one side depicting the rivers, lochs and sea around Scotland and the other the country’s moors, hills and glens.
Sarah Stewart said: “As a team, we were extremely proud of our garden and were delighted to receive the Silver Gilt award. To then go on and win the People’s Choice was just amazing.
“As garden designers, this award means so much as it comes from votes cast by future potential clients. Hearing all the lovely comments and feedback from them throughout the show was fantastic and quite overwhelming and really made the whole experience worthwhile.”
The Bayet garden, which reflected the journey of refugees crossing from the Middle East to Scotland, was sponsored by the Lemon Tree Trust – a charity which develops agricultural businesses and gardening initiatives in refugee camps.
As part of the Gardening Scotland event, Bayet designer John Thoumire also took part in a question and answer session with the charity.
Themes for the other gardens ranged from a literary bookworms garden and one inspired by the ‘grow your own’ ethos of the Second World War – both designed by students from Elmwood, to a low-maintenance garden created for a young couple moving into a new house, by a team from Oatridge.
In a separate category, first year HND Horticulture students, David Tatton, Dan Piggot and Darren McGough, won a Gold award for their Urban Kitchen Garden.
Described as an “inclusive vertical designed garden for modern urban living”, its aim was to encourage and support people to access the benefits of gardening, and the production and eating of food from their own garden, regardless of its size.
It is getting a second life at Currie Primary School after children there donated some of their plants to the show garden.