Horticulture staff and students at Derby College have won an award for the second year running at the prestigious BBC Gardeners World Live show at the NEC.
The team, based at the College’s Broomfield Hall land-based campus, again teamed up with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Derby and District Group to design and build an entry for BBC Gardener’s World Live 2017 – following their resounding success in last year’s show.
The show celebrates its 50th anniversary - coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Derby Branch of the MS Society.
The team won the silver merit in the charity category with their 10m by 12m garden entitled ‘Journey to Hope’ which portrays the journey through diagnosis and then subsequently to living with the disease.
Derby College Horticulture lecturer Mike Baldwin explained: “Following our Gold Award at last year’s BBC Gardener’ World Live we were keen to do something even more ambitious this year.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of the work of The Multiple Sclerosis Society and the challenges, anger, pain and frustration facing more than 100,000 people affected by the neurological condition in the UK.
“The garden features contrasts of soft flowering plants and spikey thistles showing the difference between the good and bad days experienced by those living with MS.
“There are also a number of constructed elements such as a bridge supported by caring hands, a fibreglass formed cave signifying a safe area where people living with MS can get help and support from the charity and a waterfall showing there is hope and quality of life.
“We started planning the garden immediately after last year’s BBC Gardeners World Live show where we won a Gold medal for our border. This is obviously much more complicated and has involved many different skills amongst the staff and students here.
“It is our biggest project for many years, with the involvement of over 50 students, but everyone has been very focused and we are delighted with the striking results.”
Peter Milner, Group Leader of MSS Derby & District continued: “We were empowered by the response to our show garden last year and the enthusiasm of the wonderful team at Derby College so we wanted to do something even bigger this year.
“This is the 50th anniversary of BBC Gardener’s World Live and the 60th anniversary of the formation of the Derby and District branch of The Multiple Sclerosis Society so it is even more special that we have won the gold medal again this year.
“The design is very powerful signifying the highs and lows of the condition and I know it will resonate with people who are living with, or caring for, someone with MS.
“We want everyone who sees the garden to have an uplifting experience and to know that there is hope for the future.”
The garden design has been supported by a wide range of national and local businesses including Hoselock, Bradstone, Urban Planters, Eggleston Brothers and Hingley Timber and Harrowden Turf.