Last weekend (Friday 26 – Sunday 28 July 2019) saw Capel Manor College’s unveiling of The Game Fair Gardens at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire to tens of thousands of visitors.
Spanning one acre and boasting over 20,000 plants this was the first show garden ever to be created of this scale. The Gardens were an impressive accomplishment and a shining example in the art of land-based skills, brought to life with a fantastic team effort by the College’s apprentices, students and staff.
The Game Fair is a prestigious event that celebrates British country life and was hosted by Lord and Lady Salisbury at their Hatfield House Estate. As Lady Salisbury is Patron of Capel Manor College and Hatfield House has an international reputation amongst garden enthusiasts, the event was the perfect opportunity for Capel Manor College to demonstrate its outstanding reputation for garden design, horticulture, innovation and talent.
Producing the world’s largest show garden was an ambitious project met with enthusiasm and determination by the College’s diligent team who started work on the Gardens in May.
The Game Fair Gardens was an immersive and interactive experience, and told the story of the countryside, estates, country gardens and traditional practices through themed gardens. With each area designed by a different College student or apprentice, The Game Fair Gardens were divided into sections that not only represented the diversity and possibilities within the countryside, but also showcased Capel Manor College’s areas of expertise in numerous courses for those interested in animals, nature and the environment.
Visitors were treated to an array of fantastic garden delights, including: a herbaceous border complete with sculptures and designed by student Andrew Smith, a potager garden designed by the College’s apprentices including Francesco Gorni, Daniel Monge and Laura Clark, a floristry and rose border with the finest home-grown British flowers and prairie planting designed by student Cristina Garcia-Mora. An arboriculture and countryside management area displayed the skills required for hedge laying and woodland conservation, as well as floristry demonstrations and a leather workshop with students creating handcrafted saddles, bridles and shoes.
Malcolm Goodwin, Principal at Capel Manor College added: “I am immensely proud of the spectacular Capel Manor College Game Fair Garden at Hatfield House, sponsored by Charles Stanley. It is an outstanding achievement by our students and staff, and the world’s biggest show garden ever built for a three-day event.”
Now that The Game Fair has come to a close, the Gardens will serve a new purpose as Capel Manor College will be donating numerous flowers, plants and trees within it to an array of local schools, charities and hospitals, including: Birchwood Avenue Primary School, Countess Anne School, The Ryde School, Earthworks, Harington Scheme, Mudlarks and Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.