Horticulture Student’s Vegetables Turn to Gold at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. After exhibiting at flower shows across the UK for over six years, students at Finchale Training College, a registered charity in County Durham, has finally swept Gold at RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.
The show garden, entitled ‘The Schedule’, was designed a constructed by horticulture students at Finchale Training College. Each student brings a variety of life experiences, such as previous homelessness, living with disability, financial hardship and long-term unemployment.
In particular, the garden focuses on providing rehabilitation and training for students who are Ex-Service Personnel. For these individuals, they are perhaps experiencing a difficult time making the transition to civilian life from serving in the Armed Forces.
However, by exhibiting a garden at this famous flower show, Finchale’s students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities and talents to others as well as learning professional horticulture skills. Perhaps more significantly, this is an opportunity for these individuals to realise their own potential and to achieve against the odds.
The show garden celebrates the long-standing tradition when, particularly in the North East region, the allotment was dominated by the Leek Show or “Schedule”. Many clubs and pubs staged the competition with a wide range of prizes available. Growing methods and secret recipes were handed down across the generations to grow oversized leeks, carrots and other vegetables.
Like so many allotments in the North East region, the garden uses recycled household materials, such as old bricks, corrugated iron and empty jam jars which were a great way to keep post-war time gardening at a low expense whilst ensuring the best vegetables could be grown to feed the family and enter in to competitions, hopefully to win a prize.
For Finchale’s students involved in the exhibit this is a life changing opportunity. Horticulture student James Cook said, “I have never been to an event like Tatton Park before. The size and quality of the competition is overwhelming, but also inspiring. Finchale have trusted in me to get involved in the project and that has made me realise how worthwhile my skills are to others. To win Gold here is unbelievable and a dream come true, for me and the rest of the team!”
Finchale Training College will be exhibiting at Tatton Park Flower Show Wednesday 20th July- Sunday 24th July 2011.
Written and submitted by Emma Simpson