A COLLEGE has added to its collection of horticultural awards with news of a gold prize.

Sparsholt College was recognised for its Beautiful Border garden display in partnership with cancer charity Maggie’s at the first BBC Gardners’ World Spring Fair at Beaulieu’s Motor Museum.

Designed by garden design diploma students, the display took inspiration from the newly built Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of University Hospital Southampton. Students incorporated therapeutic features of the centre garden, using the same plants, trees and materials from the centre’s building, as well as drawing inspiration from the relaxing woodland glades of the New Forest.

Horticulture lecturer Chris Bird said: “It was a fantastic feeling to receive a gold accolade for our Beautiful Border display. The team have risen to the challenge, and it’s been a fantastic effort from our students and the team from Maggie’s who have helped bring this touching design to life.”

Garden design student Abbie described the experience as ‘divine’, adding: “Working with the charity has been wonderful experience all around.

“From the design of the garden to working through the build and then to the opening –it’s been a brilliant experience, especially as I will going into design after the diploma.”

Given the title ‘The Journey’, the design was created to symbolise the journey of those with cancer, and their family and friends, and the support that they receive from Maggie’s through the stages of diagnosis, treatment and support.

To help explain the benefits of the garden’s therapeutic features, and the importance of the garden in cancer treatment, Sparsholt staff were joined by Maggie’s cancer support practitioners at the exhibit.

Gemma McKnight, centre fundraising manager for Maggie’s in Southampton, said: “It’s been fantastic to work with Sparsholt! I’ve learnt a lot and so have the students, and it’s been great to experience the design as it evolved.

“The Beautiful Border here is absolutely amazing – this week we all worked together as one team to bring the garden to life, and we’ve bonded and united together at the same time.”

The charity Maggie’s offers professional support for anything from treatment and side effects to money worries.

All support is free.

For more information, visit: https://www.maggies.org/.

Alternatively, call the main office on: 0300 123 1801.