5 Higher Education (HE) learners from the second year HND Landscape Construction & Garden Design competed in this year’s RHS Cardiff Flower Show with their garden which is named Y Feudwyaeth (The Hermitage).

We are thrilled to announce the team was awarded a Silver Gilt medal for their design at this year’s show.

The team included 73 year old Marianne Lewis from Treherbert who came to study at Bridgend College to follow her love of gardening and being outdoors, having coming across the Bridgend College stand at a previous RHS Cardiff event.

The brief from the RHS was to build a garden using Blackfriar’s Monastery as a theme to create a garden reflecting those times and culture.

Reflecting their passion about plants and nature, the garden was a conceptual imagining of a medieval monastic garden inspired by the history of Bute Park in Cardiff, particularly the Hermitage which existed around the 15th century.

Using locally sourced materials, the learners handmade all the key elements for the garden including hazel hurdles, skeps (Beehives) and stall walls using traditional methods. Central to the garden design was a modern interpretation of a floor tile uncovered in an archaeological dig commissioned by Lord Bute, with this represented using herbs.

The Hermitage, tucked away at the rear, represented the isolation and devotion which a Hermit experienced. Herb and vegetable beds encased in tradition hazel hurdles, fruit trees to give scale and height, and skeps modelled on 15th century designs provide edible crops.  The central turf seat unified elements within the garden and allowed for contemplation under the apple tree.

Their garden was built by the HND learners along with support from some further education (FE) learners and college Horticulture staff Anthony Davies, Rauf Marsh and Abbey Figg with the help of the growing facilities of Cardiff Parks.

Marianne said: “I’m coming to the end of the course now, and what a way to finish – by actually taking part in the show that got me into all of this in the first place! I’ve learned so many new skills – and the younger element of my course have been brilliant – I’ve never considered myself as ‘old’, and I’m pleased to say neither do they – I just get stuck in! “Outside of what you might expect from a horticultural course, I’ve also found learning more about plant biology and crop breeding for example really interesting.”

The show dates were 7th, 8th and 9th April and with judging the morning of 7th April.

Bridgend College worked in partnership with Cardiff Parks and the show garden was part funded by the RHS.

Be the next show garden designer.  Study the HND Landscape & Construction Design with Bridgend College

Bridgend College team competing at the RHS Cardiff 2017 show, including Marianne Lewis (2nd from right)

Actual show garden, 2017