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High Hopes for Four Fantastic Student Gardens

Published Thursday, 29th May 2014 in Study at SRUC news

Gardening Scotland - Donald Ferguson Craig Morrison

A woodsman's hut, a space age dome, childhood adventures and Scottish clans; these concepts may seem unrelated but they have one thing in common.

They are all competition gardens designed for Gardening Scotland by students from Scotland’s Rural College.

This week sees the SRUC students hit the final stretch, with the coveted medals awarded on Friday morning they will spend most of this week on site, turning their designs into brilliant, and beautiful show gardens. All the gardeners will be hoping their design takes home a medal, with one perhaps awarded the honour of best in show.

SRUC Horticultural Lecturer, Douglas Coltart, says: “Taking part in Gardening Scotland forms an exciting part of the students’ course. The designing and building of a garden gives the students great experience of working as a team, helping to improve their organisational and marketing skills along the way. The students love it so much that we have gardens this year from students who have previously designed and built gardens as part of their course.”

The students’ gardens are incredibly diverse, each design unique, each with a very different story to tell.

The Woodsman’s Hut is a small but perfectly formed capsule forest, which includes horse chestnut, lime, hawthorn, June Berry and hazel and is part funded by the Forestry Commission Scotland. The garden aims to remind people what a wonderful resource our forests are and how important it is to ensure that we keep them healthy – especially following recent outbreaks of serious tree diseases.

S.P.A.C.E is a futuristic geodesic dome designed for growing plants in difficult environments, inspired by growing concerns about food security and population growth. The students took advice from NASA on which plants would best ensure human survival without any other food source available so expect to see a really exciting garden bursting with peas, cabbages, pumpkin, sweetcorn, beetroot and peppers.

Inspired by the children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, The Garden of Childhood Adventure, funded by NSPCC Scotland, will surround children with everything a young explorer could wish for – a treehouse to look out from, a rope ladder to climb and puddles to splash in. The idea is simple; to create a living space that inspires memories and adventures.

Finally The Living Garden will celebrate Scotland’s homecoming events with plants closely associated with the clans. The designers hope to raise awareness of native plants - such as heathers, thistles and ferns - which will be heavily featured in the garden. Unlike other more theatrical designs this plot will include elements common to most gardens such as a lawn, seating area and pond. This garden is supported by the Scottish Government and the RSPB.

SRUC offers a wide range of courses within the Horticulture Programme. They range from community programmes through National Certificate to Honours Degree level and are delivered from our Elmwood, Oatridge, Ayr and Edinburgh campuses. The Horticulture and Horticulture with Plantsmanship courses are central to our programme but we have other programmes ranging from Greenkeeping to Garden Design. SRUC’s Barony Campus also offers courses in forestry such as Forest Management and Forest Mechanisation.

Photo caption: Garden designer Donald Ferguson and team member Craig Morrison boldly go where no gardeners have gone before.

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