Crowning glory as garden guru seals second honour

23 May 2011  ..........  Chelsea Flower Show'Nigel Dunnett in the RBC New Wild Garden
23 May 2011 .......... Chelsea Flower Show'Nigel Dunnett in the RBC New Wild Garden

A SHEFFIELD University garden design expert impressed the Queen as well as the judges with his second Chelsea Flower show success in three years.

The Royal Horticultural Society presented Dr Nigel Dunnett, from the Department of Landscape, with a silver gilt award for his New Wild Garden, designed with the help of postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Dr Dunnett said: “We’re really happy to have won the Silver Gilt, but what means the most is the overwhelming positive response from all the visitors to the show, with many of them saying it was their favourite entry.

“The Queen visited our garden too, which is a huge honour as she only sees a select few in the whole show.

“It was absolutely wonderful to meet her and to see how much she appreciated our entry.”

At the heart of the garden was an office featuring a green roof created from a recycled shipping container, and pools to capture rainwater.

A Sheffield University spokeswoman said: “These features interpreted all of Nigel’s main research areas, including sustainable landscape design, green roofs, rain gardens and water conservation, biodiversity and cutting-edge landscape horticulture.

“The New Wild Garden was intended to communicate these themes to a new, wider audience.”

Dr Dunnett’s award comes two years after he received a Silver Gilt medal at the 2009 Chelsea Flower Show for his garden called Future Nature. That garden was relocated to Sheffield where it was formally opened this month as part of a new artist’s studio complex on the Manor Estate.

l Michelin-starred Sheffield chef Tessa Bramley flew the flag for Yorkshire when she put in a guest appearance at the show.

TV chef Tessa, from the Old Vicarage in Ridgeway, was one of a delegation of Yorkshire chefs aiming to promote Yorkshire’s culinary expertise.