Wirral's Royden Park Project has won a coveted Silver Gilt Medal at the Southport Flower Show, the largest independent flower show in the country.
This year’s theme was The Curious Garden.
Wirral Evolutions' Evolving With Nature garden was designed by volunteers and involved adults with learning disabilities in the build. The aim was to use recycled materials throughout in curious ways for the walls and features, enabling a usually static garden to create various floral displays depending on the time, mood and view. It showcased an affordable garden built to charm and primarily conserve nature’s spectacles as its purpose.
The design included an archway, log stepping stones and steps of fluorescent colours, plus locally designed habitat features - a demonstration Bee Hive, Flower and Living Wall design. The “Bee Bee See" TV beehive viewing feature proved a real winner.
The Silver Gilt Medal winning partnership for Wirral Evolutions' garden included:
- Riviera Environmental Management - Ian Jones
- Flourish Community Garden Project
- At any Cost - David Andrew Street Artist
- Wirral Evolutions’ Royden Park Project, and Oakenholt Centre
- Hack Back CIC (Birds of Prey)
This is another successful initiative from the Royden Park Project, which provides opportunities for disabled people to train in horticulture, conservation and woodwork in a supportive environment. Together with Thurstaston Common, Royden Park comprises 250 acres of parkland, wood and heath, including a nature reserve. The multi-faceted project offers opportunities up to City and Guild's level II standard and has helped Royden Park win numerous awards such as a Green Flag, John Muir award and commendation from the Royal Horticultural Society's Tatton Flower Show.
In 2016, the project built an outdoor timber classroom which is fully accessible and available for functions and educational projects. Volunteers also run 'Hooked on Royden' offering tuition in angling, log splitting and floristry. The project also works with ‘Hack Back,' a community interest company providing therapy through falconry.
Quotes from the Visitor Book on the stand included:
- “Congratulations I enjoyed judging this garden! Well done see you next year!” Matthew Wilson, Flower Show Judge
- “The Garden looks very colourful; Bee Bee Cee TV is impressive. I like the idea that you can make this beautiful garden with recycling. Fantastic experience!” Giyeon Choi, South Korea
- “Well done lovely garden, well impressed with this exhibit” Judith Oldfield, Huddersfield
- “Working with a number of community organisations on this year’s Show Garden at Southport Flower Show has been a huge success” Ian Jones Riviera Environmental Management.
- “Wonderful experience for people with learning difficulties, creating their garden with other organisations, everyone has worked so hard!" Mark Humphreys Team Leader Royden Park Project, Wirral Evolutions