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Students bring home bronze from their Chelsea debut

Three students on University College Falmouth's BA(Hons) degree in Garden Design won a bronze medal for their garden at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. It was a dream come true for Aline Dejaegher, Debra Craig and Karen Narramore, all of whom are third year students on the innovative course that runs in partnership with Duchy College at Rosewarne.

The Chelsea Flower Show, one of the most prestigious events in the gardening calendar, attracts over 150,000 visitors each year, as well as television viewers from around the world. This event has provided these students with an enviable, professional gardening debut before the best, the brightest and some of the most distinguished names in the contemporary UK gardening scene.

Their vision for Porthgwyr (Green Harbour) – a garden that combines a Cornish arts café with gallery space, and contemporary style with sustainability – caught the eye and the imagination of the international media at yesterday's press day. The garden was singled out in the BBC's coverage of the event, including memorable visits by Alan Titchmarsh and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, two of the presenters of the BBC's Chelsea Flower Show Programme. The garden has been extensively covered by radio and television from around the world, including Japanese and Australian television production teams.

"Absolutely ecstatic", "speechless" and "couldn't be more thrilled" were the reactions of the three students to the bronze medal and the coverage their garden has received.

Their seaside gallery space is defined by its strong, sensuous curves – a simple representation of the Cornish coastline – providing a 'safe harbour' for the artwork that has been created by students from University College Falmouth's BA(Hons) degrees in Contemporary Crafts, Fine Art, 3D Design and Textile Design. Ben Barrell's curved 'Crescent Bench' cantilevers over a pool of water. The shape, colour and texture of the planting was designed to create an atmosphere of seclusion, privacy and quiet. A light, airy canopy reflects the openness of the gallery space, whilst vibrant green and glossy silver foliage reflect available sunlight.

"We wanted to create a garden that captured the spirit of Cornwall, that made people stop and stare, and that promoted sustainability so we have utilised environmentally sustainable materials wherever possible," adds Debra. "Locally grown sweet chestnut decking from Tregothnan Estate has been lined with setts created from recycled glass by UCF BA(Hons) Contemporary Crafts students, Tammy Falls and Louise Batchelor, to mimic light on water, and the walls are coated in a natural lime wash of saffron provided by the Cornish Lime Company."

The students and their course leaders all gave heartfelt thanks to the many Cornish businesses whose contributions made this debut at Chelsea possible. Hardy Exotics, Trevena Cross, Duchy Nurseries and Bond Landscaping were some of the companies praised for their support.

"I am absolutely delighted with this result after all the hard work, thought and effort that went into producing our garden at Chelsea. The students have enjoyed a fantastic roller coaster ride. I think they should be very proud of their achievements, as are we," says BA(Hons) Garden Design Course Leader, Richard Sneesby, who is himself a Chelsea medal winner.

Porthgwyr may be the fulfilment of one ambition, but what is certain is that this talented trio is set to go far.

For further information please contact Jilly Easterby, Head of Public Affairs at University College Falmouth on 07825 420690/07743 164434 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University College Falmouth is a partner of the CUC.


Editor's notes:

About University College Falmouth
University College Falmouth is internationally renowned for its undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in art, design and media. In March 2004, its standing and quality were recognised when the Privy Council granted the College the power to award its own taught degrees.

University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall, a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through higher education. The CUC is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.

For further information, visit

About BA(Hons) Garden Design at University College Falmouth
At Falmouth, good garden design is about great thinking. And what better place to stimulate thinking than the most visually rich college in the country, where you are never short of inspiration – from the rugged landscape and sub-tropical gardens of Cornwall to the stimulation of studying with other artists?

The only Garden Design course in the UK based at a college of art, design and media, Falmouth takes a unique approach; addressing the discipline from a visual perspective but grounding it firmly in design and horticulture. Through our partnership with Duchy College, you'll learn about organic practice, conservation, soil and plants at the same time as developing your design skills, creativity and fully-rounded knowledge of garden making. From conception and planning to the creation and management of landscapes, you'll master all stages of the garden design process, making models and prototypes as well as producing a variety of graphics to convey your designs.

There are three key components to our approach; place, people and environment, and an emphasis on designing public as well as private spaces. History and culture, different people's needs and environmental responsibility all play important roles in creating gardens and smaller site-specific public spaces, and on graduation you'll have a full understanding of how these components interact when fulfilling a client's brief. You'll also spend time working with the local community, designing rural estates, urban spaces, sculpture parks and show gardens, and on live projects.

Add to that lectures from experienced staff and high-profile guest speakers, demonstrations and the most amazing natural surroundings and you've got the recipe for garden design success.

For further information about BA(Hons) Garden Design: Arts & Environment at University College Falmouth, please visit, email or contact Admissions on 01326 214382 (for the full-time option) or 01326 214383 (for the part-time route). For information on the College's forthcoming Garden Design Summer School with award-winning garden designers, Richard Sneesby and Alistair Rivers, please visit, email or contact Business Relations on 01326 370444.

About Duchy College Rosewarne
Duchy College is Cornwall's College of the Countryside. It prides itself on being one of the leading landbased colleges in the country, and is based on two main campus sites – Stoke Climsland in the east of Cornwall which is 25 minutes outside of Plymouth, and Rosewarne in the west, just outside of Camborne.

In addition to the two main sites the College also has two smaller sites: Feadon Farm, which provides agriculture courses and support for veterinary nursing and animal care students at Rosewarne, whilst its Wadebridge Centre located on the Royal Cornwall Showground offers many subjects including creative crafts, but mainly concentrates on agriculture.

For further information about Duchy College Rosewarne, please visit, email or telephone 01209 722100.

About Bond Landscaping
Bond Landscaping, part of the family-run business WH Bond & Sons Ltd, based in South East Cornwall, undertakes both commercial and residential, hard and soft landscaping. The company offered funding, hands-on help and a wealth of experience to the student designers following a local television news report that their garden had been selected for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

For further information about Bond Landscaping, please visit, email or telephone 0800 298 3632.


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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