Alumni and current students from London’s Capel Manor College have created a number of award-winning exhibits at the prestigious RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this week.
No fewer than six exhibits – including three Gold winners – at this week’s show have been designed by Capel students past and present.
Esra Parr’s Spirit of the Aegean garden was awarded Gold by the judges for her stunning representation of the Aegean landscape, basking under suitably hot English skies. Parr graduated from Capel in Enfield last year with a Garden Design Diploma. The garden is filled with vertically and traditionally planted vibrant bougainvillea, oleander and lavender, surrounded by turquoise waters.
The Macmillan Legacy Garden, designed by Capel alumnus Ann-Marie Powell, also won Gold. The garden was created as a calm, community space perfect for contemplation and relaxation and to highlight the work of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Also striking Gold was Steve Smith’s SMART Vision garden, subtitled: Having the vision to see beyond mental illness. Smith studied at the College’s Regent’s Park centre. Sponsors’ SMART are a mental health charity that focuses on keeping people well. The garden has a dark external façade, wrapped in hazard tape, but the interior symbolises ‘thinking outside the box’ with reflective surfaces and a lush landscape of ferns and palms – plants that have survived adversity and have existed for millions of years.
“What fantastic success for the College and our students at the Show. Our garden design courses have been specifically designed to provide the skills to be successful in the industry and these awards are a reflection of this. I wholeheartedly congratulate everyone in involved.” Lee Sanders Head of Garden Design and Plantsmanship at Capel Manor College.
Career-changers Vanessa Hoch and Rachel Pocock were awarded Silver Gilt for their Foundations for Growth show garden. The pair met during their studies at Capel and after graduating with Garden Design Diplomas established their own garden design business VaRa Garden Design. They were delighted to see their garden featured in the BBC coverage of the show on Monday evening.
“‘Inspiration for Foundations for Growth came from our journey as career-changer students embarking on a new vocation; growing from keen enthusiasm to informed knowledge.” said Vanessa. The Garden highlights journeys through change. “Our experience at College gave us, and our fellow students of all ages, the opportunity to follow a different path; to utilise and build on our skills and interests.” The two worked closely with Capel to give current landscaping, garden design and horticulture students the opportunity to be involved in the building and planting of the show garden, gaining practical experience at each stage.
Silver Gilt was also awarded to the World Vision garden, created by fellow Capel alumnus, John Warland.
Floristry students from Capel’s Gunnersbury Park centre planned and created the mouth-watering Charlie and the Chocolate Factory floral display and achieved a Silver Award.
“Our students benefit tremendously by their involvement in a show like RHS Hampton Court; there is nothing like the excitement of planning, setting up and being judged!” said Natalie Revett, head of Capel’ School of Floristry.
Capel are holding Advice Evening sessions in the first week of July, further information is available at www.capel.ac.uk. The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is open until 5 July.