UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

Undergraduate’s show garden honours ‘grow your own’

Aspiring garden designer Harry Dean will celebrate his community allotment’s 100th birthday in his debut show garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (July 17 – 21).

UCR undergraduate Harry Dean over allotments

Harry, 19, who is studying for a degree in landscape architecture at University Centre Reaseheath in Nantwich, will lead a team of eleven fellow vegetable growers from Over Allotments in Winsford on the garden build.

He hopes ‘A Gourd Time’, will inspire show visitors to grow their own vegetables at home or even to become allotment holders themselves. The garden will offer design ideas which can be applied large or small scale, and will showcase vegetables, fruit and flowers grown by plot holders at Over Allotments.

The inspiration for Harry’s design stems from a historical event in 1990, when a pumpkin grown by former allotmenteer Albert Palfreyman weighed in at a massive 579 lb (262.6 kilograms), briefly holding the British heaviest pumpkin record.

The youngest plot holder at Over Allotments (the oldest is aged 85!), Harry is a regular prizewinner with his own vegetables at the members’ annual produce show. He was inspired to design and build a show garden for RHS Flower Show Tatton Park after being involved in the pre-show preparation of a gold medal winning garden there last year, while still a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture student.

Over Allotments has been at the centre of Winsford’s ‘grow your own’ community since 1924, when the town’s Urban District Council bought land from local squire William Stubbs so the townsfolk could grow their own food. It has over 60 plots with a considerable waiting list.

Harry, who lives in Winsford, says: “It’s a great honour to be able to mark 100 years of growing local produce, including a record breaking pumpkin, with a show garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Competing at such a high level will be a challenge, because every component of the build has to be perfect for judging. But everyone is very keen to help and I couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic build team.”

Fran Johnson, Chair of Over Allotments Association, says: “We’re all very proud of Harry. Competing at RHS Tatton will be a highlight in this special year of centenary celebrations. It will be a real communal effort, as all our plot holders are keen to help by producing the very best vegetables and flowering plants for the show garden.”

Along with his degree studies at University Centre Reaseheath, Harry works for Acorn Landscape Services of Knutsford, who are sponsoring the show garden along with Atlantic Timber of Altrincham and Cliff Dickenson & Son, Ford Dealership, of Winsford.

 ‘A Gourd Time’ is situated at TP245 in the Long Borders section, a category which offers an exciting chance for gardeners and horticultural students to showcase their creativity and earn a prestigious RHS medal.

After the show, the garden will be relocated to Over Recreational ground in Winsford for the town’s community to enjoy.

Harry Dean and team from Over Allotments

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