Derby College Group’s students' show garden is set to wow the experts!

Derby College Group’s students' show garden is set to wow the experts!

Horticulture students at Derby College Group are busy creating an amazing show garden entry for this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the Birmingham NEC in June.

The students, who are all studying Level 3 Horticulture at the college’s Broomfield Hall site, are creating their show garden based on the recently renovated Wingfield Station, to celebrate the work of the Derbyshire Historic Building Trust in restoring this important site.  

The project team for the restoration of Wingfield Station engaged with Derby College early in the project, and students from the Broomfield also began looking at a planting scheme for the Station grounds. This sparked the idea for a show garden.

The horticulture study programme, which has been specially devised by the horticulture lecturer, Mike Baldwin, to bring together skills and knowledge in surveying, design, plantsmanship and construction - ideal for students who want to establish a gardening business.

And as part of their part-time study programme, the students are each creating different elements of the show garden, which has been designed by one of the students, Carleen Osborne. Carleen worked collaboratively with the other students and the Wingfield Station project team on the garden concept.

Mike Baldwin, Horticulture Lecturer at Derby College Group, who has led 34 show gardens projects to date, said of the Restoration Garden:

 “It really is shaping up to be an impressive project. The team are creating an amazing garden full of highly imaginative planting, structural and unique features, which I am sure will amaze both the show judges and visitors alike. 

"It is a great team effort, and everyone is working incredibly hard to create the different features of the garden and we will spend many more hours constructing this ahead of the BBC Gardeners World Live.”

Carleen Osbourne, the garden designer explained more about the project: “The garden encapsulates the restoration using two design themes: one showing the dereliction, with wild naturalistic planting, which will contrast with a second more structured and contemporary area representing the completed restoration.

“The station is the backdrop to the garden, which also shows the before and after aspects, with boarded-up windows, damaged roof and graffiti on one side, contrasting with the restored building on the other side. The graffiti is a nod to the station’s past, Robert Stephenson the engineer and Francis Thompson the architect.

“I am so excited to be given such a fantastic opportunity. And it is really good working with so many people with many different skills.”

The Restoration Garden is the seventh Show Garden designed by horticulture students at Derby College for BBC Gardeners’ World Live. To date, the gardens have collected Platinum, Gold, Silver, Merit and Bronze awards. 

Wingfield Station is one of the country's rarest - in fact, one of the world's oldest - rural railway stations. Despite 40 years of total neglect, the remains of the 1840 station are amazingly original. Thanks to funding from Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and others, work continues to bring it back to life as office space. Wingfield Station is being preserved as a time capsule going back to the very beginning of technological innovations that became one of the hallmarks of the Victorian era.

Peter Milner, Trustee and Project Lead for Wingfield Station said “It is a wonderful experience working with the students and their senior lecturer as they develop the garden design.”

Once the show is over, elements of the garden will be replanted at Wingfield to echo the description of the station that appeared in the newspapers on 4 July 1840. An article reporting on the grand opening ceremony of the newly completed Derby to Leeds line commented that “The station at South Wingfield was adorned with a variety of flowers and evergreens.”

The staff and students at Derby College eagerly await the feedback from the show judges and hope that the garden inspires visitors to come and visit Wingfield Station.

This year's BBC Gardeners’ World Live runs from Thursday, June 15 to June 18 at the NEC, Birmingham.

Image 1 

Show garden design

Back to news