• Design and build team with Joe Swift

Reaseheath undergraduates pooled their talents to design and build a show garden for a special educational needs school which wowed visitors at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (July 19 – 23).

‘From a Different Angle’, which was awarded a silver medal, will be relocated at Sandside Lodge, Ulverston, Cumbria, when the construction of a new replacement school has been completed.

The show garden was sponsored by Seddon, a leading construction company which is building the new school and also an additional student accommodation block at Reaseheath’s Nantwich campus.

The undergraduates, Dave Cutler, Claire Gouhoury, Graham Fradley, Liz Rees-Graham, Joe Latham, Annie Rhoden-Farmer, Chris Shore and Adam Taylor, were  led by lecturer in landscape architecture Craig Bailey and supported by Reaseheath’s Horticultural Department.

The undergraduates are studying for a BSc in Landscape Management or a Foundation Degree in Garden and Landscape Design at the University Centre Reaseheath, the college’s Faculty of Higher Education. Some will go on to study landscape architecture while others will become professional landscape designers or work in plant therapy or education.

Sandside Lodge is a special school catering for pupils aged between two and nineteen. All pupils have learning difficulties and many have additional and complex needs such as autism, physical disabilities and sensory impairment. Many are keen gardeners and help to care for the school’s allotment and gardens.

‘From a Different Angle’ was designed to offer a safe, usable outdoor space suitable for young people with special needs. It features raised beds, sensory planting including a chamomile lawn, and a shaded seating area. Colour therapy was used throughout, particularly the use of orange which encourages socialisation, increases contentment and stimulates mental activity.

Team member Adam Taylor said: “Seeing this project evolve from the initial consultation with Seddon Construction and Sandside Lodge through to the design stage and then seeing the garden come to life at a prestigious show like RHS Tatton Park has been a really challenging and exciting experience. It’s amazing to see our show garden here among so many other fantastic designs. We were delighted that the pupils of Sandside Lodge enjoyed the garden, as did so many members of the public.”

Sandside Lodge pupil Sean Wilson, one of four learners who visited RHS Flower Show Tatton Park to see the exhibit, said: “I love gardening and I’m really looking forward to being in the garden when it’s built at our new school.”

Ed Wootton, Regional Director of Seddon Construction said: “We were delighted to  work in partnership with a leading specialist college such as Reaseheath to produce a garden which is built for purpose and will hopefully continue to deliver pleasure to pupils at the new Sandside Lodge for many years to come.”