Students commemorate 100 years of votes for women at RHS Chatsworth

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Two University of Sheffield students are designing, growing and planting a long border at the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual Chatsworth Flower Show to celebrate 100 years of women‘s right to vote.

Landscape Architecture students, Russell Giblett and Alistair Mockett were encouraged to put themselves forward by Dr Sally O’Halloran, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape, who specialises in landscape history and planting design.

Inspired by their experience of volunteering in the climate change garden at last year’s RHS Chatsworth, their pitch for ‘Rising Up’, a long border commemorating 100 years since the Suffragette movement achieved the right to vote for women, was successful.

Russell and Alistair are putting their learning into practice on the world horticultural stage. As part of their course, they have studied planting schedules, densities, layouts and design, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to put forward a beautiful design that is also practical. Plants have been chosen and prepared so they’re sure to look their best in June.

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape has provided funding for the plants, and lecturers have been on hand with guidance on creating a show garden. Greenhouse and nursery space, as well as growing advice, have also been provided by the University of Sheffield’s Department of Estates and Facilities Management.

Russell and Alistair have been working with staff in the University nursery to try to get their plants to flower at the correct time – a critical aspect of a show garden.

Russell said: “After volunteering in 2017, I think we both dreamt of doing a garden at the RHS Chatsworth – not knowing that we would be returning a year later to design and build our own long border.

“I have enjoyed being so involved in the growing process; physically influencing my own design. It is a pleasure watching the plants change drastically in such a short period. Personally, it has influenced my future career aspirations. We’ve focused on combining heights, textures, colours, structure and form to create a unified whole.”

Alastair continued: “This has been a great learning experience, fuelling my passion for planting design. I’m proud of the concept behind the planting too, celebrating a century of the right to vote for women.

“The design reflects the Suffragettes’ defiant uprising, with juniperus and gypsophila emerging through clouds of colour, primarily purple, white and green – colours associated with the Suffragette Movement.”

RHS Chatsworth runs from 6-10 June 2018. Attendees will be able to find Russell and Alistair’s long border named ‘Rising Up’ on lot 376, close to the river.

The 'Rising Up' border at RHS Chatsworth will be featured on the Gardeners World RHS Chatsworth Flower Show at 7pm Thursday 7 June on BBC Two.

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 

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The University of Sheffield

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