Two Reaseheath RHS Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture students struck gold at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show with their first attempt at creating a show garden.

Bev Williams and Toni Slater pooled their talents to design and build the aptly named ‘Chatsworth Lady’, which was inspired by the efforts of the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Cavendish, to rejuvenate the gardens at Chatsworth.

The garden was exhibited in the‘ Long Borders’ category, which enables plant enthusiasts such as students, garden designers, community groups and talented individuals to experience the design, planning and build of a garden in a professional show environment. They are judged to high RHS standards.

The garden featured striking traditional and contemporary planting, with judges praising its bold and daring colour scheme. Fellow students helped with the planting while sculptures of a lady and whippet enjoying the sight and scent of the garden, made by willow sculptress Juliette Hamilton, provided a focal point. Juliette is another of our RHS students.

Bev used to work in the design and print industry while Toni has a previous background in Environmental Sciences. Both share a love of horticulture and met two years ago while studying for their RHS Level 2 Diploma with us. The garden was inspired by the people they have met and the gardens they have visited and worked on.

Toni is one of the volunteer team at Wollerton Old Hall Garden near Market Drayton and is an active member and trustee of the Rainbow Centre in Penley, which provides care, social interest and support services for the community. Bev volunteers at Stockton Heath Primary School, designing and planting in the garden and supporting children in their gardening club.

Toni said: “We were totally over the moon to receive a gold medal. This garden means a lot to us in so many ways and it has been a dream come true to have it recognised at such a high level. We owe so much to our Course Manager, Dave Black, and to our fellow students, who have inspired and supported us throughout this journey.”

In 2018 Bev designed a silver medal winning exhibit for The Herb Society at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park and was helped in the build by Toni. This year she will be back at the show, helping Stockton Heath Primary pupils with their ’Tatton Bug Ball’ in the schools section.

‘Chatsworth Lady’ supported The Christie cancer centre. See