Crowds pour in to the world’s oldest floral celebration

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Staff reporter

A DIVERSE range of display gardens came to the show this year, many ingeniously conceived by local designers.

The Wrekin Housing Trust’s ‘Wasted’ garden won the Mike Hough trophy for best in show, and a gold medal.

The garden was by Shrewsbury-based urban designer and landscape architect Mike Vout, and Teresa Rham of Groundesigns, Oswestry.

It was built by the housing trust’s repair and landscaping staff with local volunteers.

The garden used recycled materials from the housing trust’s homes across the county, of which 41 are in Shrewsbury.

Material used included red roof tiles, white bathroom tiles and black roofing felt.

“Hopefully it gives people ideas about recycling in their own homes and how they can use materials in the garden,” said Teresa Rham.

The plants, she said, included wildflowers from Leominster and cultivated plants from Welshpool.

Pam Edwards, general manger of supported housing, said the trees would be going to some of their housing schemes and the plants would be auctioned off for Severn Hospice.

Mike Vout said the same team had worked together for the past three years and won gold medals at the two previous flower shows.

“We have really good craftsmen at the trust and a good culture and attitude,” he said.

Other gardens on display included the Lanyon Bowdler garden – a ‘surfer’s retreat’ built with staff and pupils from Shrewsbury’s Severndale Specialist School, designed by Mike Russell of Church Stretton.
“The children have been involved with all sorts of bits and pieces,” said Rachel Philips of Mike Russell Garden Design. “They designed the tiles and the fish pattern on the flooring.”
She said after the show the garden would be relocated to Severndale and become a wheelchair accessible sensory garden where children could play and get involved in planting.
The seaside themed garden featured timbers from Borth, a wooden boat and a copper-fish water feature.
Dominating the show garden area was a giant steel eagle, the centrepiece of one of the more unusual gardens.
Mache Studios, based at Ford and Halfway House to the west of Shrewsbury, teamed up with J Kros stained glass of Oswestry to create a steel and glass sculpture garden.
Managing director Bill Hunt said: “Aubrey Kirkham (Shropshire Horticultural Society Vice-President) invited us. He said ‘you’re a garden, not a trade stand’ so we had three weeks to get together a display.”
He said they were already in the process of making the eagle, which was commissioned by Shrewsbury’s Salop Leisure, who already have a steel dragon sculpture by the company.
The garden contained animal sculptures alongside steel and glass representations of the live plants at the show.

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