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Casting a spell in Silver Gilt

Published Wednesday, 10th July 2013 in Study at SRUC news

Jenna Stuart - Best in Show Designer, Gardening Scotland

After a bit of a rocky beginning Jenna Stuart and her team ended up with a fantastic Silver Gilt at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.

Having been awarded a Silver Gilt at Gardening Scotland just a few weeks ago, the team – all SRUC garden design students based in Edinburgh – had to rebuild their show garden from scratch at the prestigious Hampton Court event. After two drivers pulled out at short notice, SRUC Lecturer Ian Anderson drove the 550 miles from Aberdeen to Surrey to come to their aid.

“The stones were so heavy I couldn’t move them,” Jenna explained. “We actually added more in this version; we included a flagstone floor and built higher walls to really capture that tumbledown cottage look.”

And what a look it is. The Witches of MacBeth garden is a wild space, beautifully unkempt, where poisonous and medicinal plants have been left to grow rampant over the remains of the abandoned dwelling. An upset cauldron lurks within, its mysterious contents bubbling over, an ominous reminder of the previous tenants.

Jenna spent three days perfecting the scene (once the stones were safely in place) and the judges said it was this attention to detail that ensured the Silver Gilt, but Jenna was still surprised at the accolade.

“The standard is so high here I just didn’t expect it,” she said.

Jenna has some simple advice for those future SRUC garden design students who may decide to put themselves to the test at Gardening Scotland or an RHS flower show.

“Be more organised,” she says, “and get in earlier. It’s hard work but really rewarding; it’s nice to know that at twenty I already have two Silver Gilts under my belt.”

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