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Scotland’s Rural College takes Macbeth’s Witches to Hampton Court

Published Wednesday, 19th June 2013 in Study at SRUC news

Jenna Stuart - Best in Show Designer, Gardening Scotland

The Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) entry for the biggest flower show on earth is on schedule for delivery.

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place on July 9th-14th and the team of HND Garden design students from the college's Edinburgh campus will soon be travelling down to the 34 acre site with their summer garden inspired by the Witches of Macbeth. It is a garden with a pedigree, having been awarded “Best in Show” at the recent Gardening Scotland event held on the Royal Highland Show ground outside Edinburgh at Ingliston.

Since that success in June the team of students have been refining their design and nurturing the plants they will need to catch the eye of a new set of scrutineers.

“We had some useful feedback from the Gardening Scotland judges”, says designer and team leader Jenna Stuart. “We have taken their comments to heart. In addition the weather is now warmer and all the plants are looking so much better. Something we struggled with in early June, after such a long, cold, Scottish spring”.

Their garden was inspired by the witches from William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, but will have an 18th century feel. There is a dilapidated house which has been overgrown with the plants that the witches used for various concoctions. The plants chosen are either medicinal or poisonous. A real test of the students’ skill with design and plantsmanship, is the need for the garden to look overgrown and abandoned, something that sounds easy but which is very difficult to achieve However a cauldron, tipped over with the bubbling contents spilled out should help give the idea there is still evil magic on this land.

“One challenge we face down south is sourcing the right kind of stone for our dilapidated house”, comments Jenna. “It needs to match our key features and despite help from Arnold Clark with a Luton truck and Transit, we can’t carry a load of heavy masonry from Edinburgh to London.”

The Hampton Court Flower Show is something different for SRUC. Previously, entries from garden design students at the Scottish Agricultural College, as it was then, have won awards at Chelsea, including a Gold in 2012. The team are hopeful but not complacent about the new challenge.

Scotland’s Rural College was formed in October 2012, when SAC merged with three rural colleges, Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge, all of them with a background in teaching practical horticulture (including greenkeeping). The HND in Garden Design Course is one of a comprehensive range of courses offered by SRUC in horticulture and garden design. They include NC Introduction to Horticulture, NC Horticulture, HNC Horticulture, SVQ level 2/3 - Amenity Horticulture, SVQ Level 2 Production Horticulture through to Degree and Honours Degree. Courses can be studied full time or part time. They are spread across the SRUC Campuses at Ayr, Edinburgh, Elmwood and Oatridge.

The HND in Garden Design course introduces students to the many facets of garden design from design to plant knowledge, hard landscaping and business studies. During the year students design gardens for real clients and develop hands-on horticultural knowledge. Students can also progress to the Garden & Greenspace Design BSc/BSc (Hons).

For more information contact Jenna Stuart on 07719 985544 or Ken Rundle on 0131 535 4196 or 0771 007 9401, Ken.Rundle@sruc.ac.uk. You can also visit our Education section.


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