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    Silver at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

    Posted 22 May 2007

    Harper Adams' Jan Haycox and Mark Hall with the RHS Silver Medal

    Harper Adams University College is celebrating after receiving a Silver Medal at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The University College has been working in partnership with Telford and Wrekin Council to present the medal winning Thomas Telford Toll House Garden.

    Harper Adams’ Grounds Manager, Mark Hall and Senior Glasshouse Technician, Jan Haycox were approached by the garden’s designers, Telford and Wrekin Council Officers Michael Vout and Chris Jones because of their vast horticultural knowledge and experience.

    Mark and Jan began working on the project last year, using all the plant growing facilities provided at the University College. They researched and sourced authentic seeds of the 1830’s and then painstakingly nurtured and grew the plants using traditional methods. It was extremely important to reproduce the exact variety that would have been grown in the 1830’s instead of buying seed from any garden centre because these would have been hybrid plants. The garden includes more than 60 vegetables, herbs and herbaceous plants grown at Harper Adams, from beetroot and cabbage to lesser known plants, such as cardoon and skirret, which were extremely popular with the Victorians.

    Charles Murray, Field Trails Officer at Harper Adams and the Chelsea Co-ordinator at the University College said “It is very gratifying to see the experience and skills of Harper Adams being showcased at Chelsea. It is the most prestigious garden show in the world and to display an award winning garden is an achievement in its own right. All the partners, including the University College, are extremely proud to have worked in collaboration to gain such an accolade.”

    The Garden itself celebrates the 250th anniversary of Thomas Telford’s birth, one of the nation’s greatest civil engineers. It is one of only 19 show garden entries this year and has been inspired by the tollhouses Telford created along the road from London to Holyhead. An example can be seen at the local Blists Hill Victorian Town at Ironbridge, where a replica was made for the Show Garden. The Thomas Telford Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of a year long programme of events to celebrate the anniversary. 

    The garden has been seen by royalty, national and international garden experts and thousands of visitors. Staff and students from Harper Adams are extremely proud of Mark and Jan’s contribution to this national achievement.

    Simply visit the link below and select the Thomas Toll House Garden and click VOTE   

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