Work has begun at Hatfield House on the world’s largest ever show garden. The garden will be unveiled at The Game Fair 2019, which takes place at the Hertfordshire estate on 26th – 28th July.
The show garden, which will be an acre in size, is sponsored by Charles Stanley and has been designed by Capel Manor College students under supervision from RHS Gold medallist Julie Dowbiggin, being built and planted by students from the college’s horticulture courses. With just 90 days from the start of the build to the grand opening, and with more than 5,000 plants and trees, 400m2 of turf and 20m of dry-stone wall to go in, they’ve got a strict schedule to complete the project before the 120,000 expected visitors stream into Hatfield House for the annual ‘festival of the Great British countryside’.
Capel Manor College is London’s leading education provider of education for those interested in plants, animals, flowers, trees and the environment, offering apprenticeships and courses for those looking to work in the fields such as garden design, horticulture, landscaping and floristry.
James Gower, Managing Director of The Game Fair, said: “We know that lots of the people who attend The Game Fair are keen gardeners, so a project such as this will be a huge draw for the 120,000 visitors coming to The Game Fair this year. A show garden on this scale has never been attempted before, but who better to pull it off than Capel Manor College, with their outstanding reputation for garden design. Capel Manor College have diverted efforts from RHS shows to participate in this ambitious project. It is a one in a life time opportunity for the students. That we can help to encourage the next generation of garden designers and horticulturalists is a great bonus.”
Hatfield House, which is famous for its extensive gardens, is owned by Lord and Lady Salisbury. Lady Salisbury, a keen gardener and Patron of Capel Manor College said: “It is wonderful that this year The Game Fair is encouraging our apprentices and students to use their skills and knowledge to create a spectacular garden at Hatfield. As patron of the college, specialising in land-based subjects across London, I know this RHS award-winning team will provide inspiration to gardeners and will show with a good design, what can be grown. Seeing what people can do is always a pleasure as well as providing a vital contribution to our green open spaces.”
The garden will leave a lasting legacy: following the event many of the plant and trees will be donated to local schools, hospices and charities.