SRUC garden design students excelled themselves at this year’s Gardening Scotland winning a Gold, a Silver Gilt, and two Silver medals.
The Woodsman’s Hut Garden led the charge; their capsule forest design with its riotous display of trees, shrubs and edible plants netted them a coveted, and deserved, gold medal. The team from SRUC’s Ayr Campus with their Garden of Childhood Adventure won Silver Gilt for their beautifully sculpted horticultural playground. The two Silver awards went to The Living Garden – which features native plants such as thistles, heathers and ferns – and S.P.A.C.E, which was inspired the challenges of growing food in harsh environments.
The designer of The Woodsman’s Hut is Anna Kapuvari, who is in her third year studying Garden and Greenspace Design at SRUC. She won Gold two years ago for her Plant Explorers’ Garden and is absolutely delighted with her team’s Gold this year.
She said: “Both my gardens feel like they have been small miracles. With all my designs I am inspired by a specific character; this time it was the woodsman and it really helped to think about what he would want in his hut and in his garden; everything is either edible, or medicinal or useful in some way.”
Anna was inspired by a memorial in Hungary to a forester who so loved his woodlands that he asked to be buried there when he died. The garden was part funded by the Forestry Commission and aims not only to raise awareness of edible forest gardens but also the importance of tree health.
Inspired by the children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, The Garden of Childhood Adventure, funded by NSPCC Scotland, surrounds 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.
It was designed by first year garden design student Louise Wakeling, who is based in Ayrshire. She said: “My vision was to create a space where children have adventures they will always remember. I am really pleased with the award. It’s great at college getting to design so many different gardens but this is the first one I have actually been able to see built!”
Second year Jenna Stuart and fourth year Matt Lowe were commissioned by the Scottish Government and the RSPB to design The Living Garden; ‘Nature’s Homecoming – working together to give nature a home’. It celebrates Scotland’s homecoming events with plants closely associated with the clans.
Jenna said: “We had quite a small budget so we learned a lot about networking to get deals or things on loan. It’s been a challenge but we are really delighted with the result.”
The heavy rain and strong winds that lashed down during the build created serious problems for the team behind the S.P.A.C.E Garden, a futuristic geodesic dome filled with edible plants. They fell behind schedule and their carefully tended hydroponic vegetables took a battering, which makes their Silver medal even more special.
The S.P.A.C.E team are all studying for HNDs in Garden Design at SRUC’s Edinburgh Campus. Their garden designer, Donald Ferguson, said: “We’re very very pleased with the medal especially considering the weather we have had. It’s my first garden and I’d probably do it all over it again, but then I am a glutton for punishment!”
SRUC’s Acting Chief Executive, Janet Swadling, said: “This has been a great year for our garden design students at Gardening Scotland. They have performed incredibly well, producing four exciting and very different gardens, and have all been amply rewarded with well deserved medals. These results are a reflection of the hard work and determination of our students, and of the high calibre of our horticulture courses.”
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: The Woodsman’s Hut garden designer Anna Kapuvari trying out the barefoot walk with Paul Wheelhouse MSP.