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Hebrides-inspired weaver's garden wins coveted Gold Award at Chelsea Flower Show

22 May 2013

The Gold Award-winning Hebridean weaver's garden
Staff and students at NTU are celebrating today after winning a prestigious Gold Award at the Chelsea Flower Show. The University won the coveted award with its traditional 1950's Hebridean weaver's garden, designed by student Jackie Setchfield. It was one of four 5x4m gardens entered into the popular artisan section of the centenary show.

Students from across the University's horticulture courses helped to develop the Motor Neurone Disease - A Hebridean Weaver's Garden with Jackie, who is studying a foundation degree in garden design in the University's School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.

Jackie said: "It feels unbelievable after the incredibly hard build of the last 11 days, with all sorts of different contributors giving their all. The team has been amazingly dedicated and the attention to detail has won us gold. The public's comments have been so touching with 'beautiful' being the overall comment. I am incredibly proud of our 'beautiful' garden."

Jackie's design depicted a garden on the Isle of Lewis, brimming with dye plants, the extracts of which would have been used to dye fleece, and woven to create the famous Harris Tweed cloth. The garden was intended to be a nostalgic look back to an arduous way of life within these tight knit communities, which continued in the Hebrides until the late 1960s.

The students - along with university environment technician Paul Wright - helped to cultivate specialist plants and flowers and construct various features of the garden ahead of the show.

The brief for the garden was provided by Motor Neurone Disease Association co-founder, Martin Anderson and it was created to help raise awareness of the charity. Martin also worked alongside the university five years ago, when his Shetland-inspired show garden won the coveted gold award and the People's Choice Award at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Jackie said: "The most challenging aspect of the project was probably the meticulous research and planning which went into this. I was honoured to have the assistance of all sorts of people eager to help, from the charismatic curator of blackhouse museum on Lewis, the staff at the Harris Tweed mills, to the esteemed librarians at RHS Wisley."


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