A Warwickshire and Worcestershire college group renowned for horticulture is embarking on its biggest ever show garden and is appealing for help to bring its ambitious design to life.
Pershore College and Moreton Morrell College, part of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group), are creating the show garden at The Game Fair which is being held at Ragley Hall in Alcester in September.
The show garden is one of the main attractions at the three-day festival of the countryside. The event attracts over 120,000 visitors and WCG has been tasked with coming up with a design to promote the use of technology in gardens.
Staff and students have devised ‘The Smart Garden’ to highlight how gardens can be developed to be ‘smart’.
‘The Smart Garden’, measuring 45m by 25m, will be divided into four distinct concept areas with each highlighting the latest technology and innovative techniques from use of water and growing crops to managing and encouraging wildlife and harnessing natural power.
Mike Roberts, garden design and horticulture lecturer at WCG, said: “Throughout my 26 years at the college, I have been involved in lots of show gardens, which has included winning the whole range of medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, but this is by far the largest that we have ever undertaken.
“One of the challenges with show gardens is always resourcing them, and with the size and theme of this garden, we are looking for quite a lot of help from suppliers in providing or loaning plants and materials and also volunteers to support us during the month-long build.”
A wish-list of supplies ranges from turf, plants, paving and fencing to larger items including a contemporary conservatory, pergola, polytunnel and hydroponics systems.
Plants used in the show garden will be donated by WCG to the local community including to care homes and schools.
Mike added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we can do as a college and by supporting us, will provide the chance for firms to showcase their plants, products and new technology to a huge audience.
“With The Game Fair being moved from its usual date in July to September due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it also means new students enrolling on our horticulture and landscaping courses will be able to experience creating a show garden as part of their induction.
“We have already begun growing some of the plants with our students and it would be a real boost if we could draw on the support of businesses and volunteers locally and further afield to see it all come to fruition.”
Businesses and volunteers interested in helping can find out more and get in touch with WCG to offer support via wcg.ac.uk/gamefair. A list of items required to help create the show garden is available at wcg.ac.uk/gamefairsupplies.
For more information about The Game Fair, which takes place from Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20, visit www.thegamefair.org