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College’s award winning garden’s Forever Home Announced

Date: 8th August 2019

A care home near York has been announced as the winner of a competition to find a permanent home for an award-winning show garden and comes alongside news that the project has been chosen as a finalist in an international horticulture competition.

Askham Bryan College, which has designed and created the garden, has just learned that it has been selected as a finalist in the “benefiting society” category of the prestigious Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland 2019. Judges have praised it as a great example of involving students in a real live project as well as for its environmental and social benefits.

The College is renowned for its horticulture expertise with full and part time courses ranging from arboriculture to floristry to applied horticulture with the college’s arboretum and an acre of protected growing space providing a valuable resource for learning.

Following its successful application, Hartrigg Oaks in New Earswick will see the garden come to life within its grounds. The residential and nursing care home accommodates 43 residents who will be able to enjoy it as it becomes the garden’s forever home.

Entitled “In Sight of the Minster” it was originally created for the Harrogate Spring Flower Show in April where it won a coveted Gold Award. From there it was re-created in the heart of York in Coppergate, attracting hundreds of visitors as part of the popular Bloom Festival held in June.

The garden reflects different aspects of the Minster including the flying buttresses, the famous Minster walls and the iconic stained glass windows and celebrates the significance of the building to the city of York and beyond.

Jess Herbert, Askham Bryan’s Head of Horticulture explained: “Many gardens created for shows and displays sadly do not have a long shelf life, and are dismantled and discarded once the event is over. When we first discussed our entry for the Harrogate Show we were very clear that we wanted it to have longevity, for it to be re-cycled and ultimately have a permanent home so we invited community groups to apply and were delighted with the response. It was the application from a group of keen gardeners at the Oaks Care Home, part of Hartrigg Oaks, which really ticked all the boxes. We wanted the garden to not just be visually pleasing but to be therapeutic and up lifting, and for it to be meaningful and useful to the organisation, which is precisely the case for the Hartrigg Oaks continuing care retirement community.

“What has been particularly rewarding in creating the garden has been to see students working at different levels coming together in the shared goal, problem solving and succeeding in some challenging situations.“

Several of the residents living within the care home have dementia and research has shown that having access to a safe garden area would help increase their quality of life. It will strike a chord with several of the residents who have been volunteers and guides at the Minster, and in addition will benefit those who suffer from sight loss or have had a stroke or are less mobile, as the paths will be wide enough for wheelchairs and include a range of seating.

Sharon Brookes, General Manager at Hartrigg Oaks said: “We are delighted to have been successful, and are very much looking forward to enjoying what will be a wonderful addition for our residents. Our building looks onto a garden which 20 years ago was planted with roses but has now become a rather sad forgotten space. This lovely new garden will be transformational giving the opportunity for residents to relax in a calm, pleasant and safe space, and perhaps to remember skills and habits which have brought them enjoyment in the past.”

Support has also come from Lotte Inch, the Festival Director of Bloom! for Make It York who said: “We have been proud to support the creation of this beautiful garden and to help continue the legacy of Bloom! by bringing “In Sight of the Minster” to add colour to York’s Coppergate Centre and now in its forever home at Hartrigg Oaks. We are certain that the residents will continue to enjoy this garden for years to come and congratulate them, and all involved in this project.”

It is anticipated that work to install the garden will begin at the start in autumn, at the start of the academic year.

Photo shows left to right: The award winning Askham Bryan College garden which will have a new home at Hartrigg Oaks. Left to right are: Chris Adams, Deputy Chair of the Hartrigg Oaks Residents’ Committee, Sharon Brookes, General Manager ,Hartrigg Oaks,  Celia Pashby, a  resident and grounds sub-committee member,  and Jessica Herbert, Head of Horticulture at Askham Bryan College

For more information on the Green Gown Awards visit

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277