Derby College Group’s students are creating an amazing, inventive show garden

Derby College Group’s students are creating an amazing, inventive show garden

Mike Baldwin, Horticulture Lecturer at Derby College Group is leading the horticulture students in creating an amazing show garden for BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2024 in June.

The garden is designed in collaboration with Derby College and Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, highlighting the Bonsall Field Barn Restoration Project.

The students, who are all studying Level 3 Horticulture at the college’s Broomfield Hall site, created their show garden working closely with the Derbyshire Historic Building Trust and drawing on their extensive knowledge and experience.

The imaginative garden features a restored field barn within a setting inspired by the Peak District village of Bonsall. This includes dry stone walling, typical of the area, a limestone path representing the Limestone Way, planted with predominantly UK natives around a dew pond, and a representation of a covered, disused lead mine shaft featuring T’Owd Man of Bonsall. Planting is in keeping with the area, including a wildflower meadow and ornamentals thriving on limestone sites.

Creating the show garden is a wonderful opportunity for the students to do a real life project and demonstrate a broad range of the skills and knowledge they have learnt during their study programme.

The horticulture study programme, which has been specially devised by the horticulture lecturer, Mike Baldwin, brings together skills and knowledge in surveying, design, plantsmanship and construction – ideal for students who want to establish a gardening business.

Mike Baldwin, Horticulture Lecturer at Derby College Group, who has now led 36 show gardens projects to date, and has been creating show gardens with students for 30 years said of the Bonsall Field Barn Garden:

“It is a great team effort, and everyone is working incredibly hard to create the different features of the garden and we will spend many more hours constructing this ahead of the BBC Gardeners World Live.”

“I want the students to enjoy every moment of it and hopefully it will inspire them for the future.’

“It is a brilliant garden concept. The students are working incredibly hard to create the garden and are really working as a team. The outstanding garden is full of highly imaginative planting, great structures and many unique features, which we are hoping will impress the judges.”

The garden was designed by one of the students, Faye Geeson. Faye worked collaboratively with the other students and the Bonsall Field Barn Restoration Project on the garden concept. The design for the garden has been illustrated by another student, Chloe Ye.

Faye Geeson, Designer and Derby College Group Student commented:

‘I did the RHS Level 2 course at the college last year and having found about the Level 3 course, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved in building a show garden this year. Having never done anything like this before, I was delighted that my design was selected by Mike and the sponsors to be built.”

“It’s been fantastic preparing everything for the garden with the rest of the students. Everyone has different skills and interests to bring to the project. It’s also been an excellent excuse to visit all the local garden centres and nurseries to source plants. I can’t wait to start the build and see the finished project at the show!’

The Bonsall Field Barn is the eight Show Garden designed by horticulture students at Derby College for BBC Gardeners’ World Live which is being held on the 16th to 18th of June.

Progress of the garden can be seen on the team’s Instagram page @derbycollegeshowgarden

More details about DCG’s Horticulture courses:

Leicester TV