Prisoners design show garden for Gardening Scotland

A garden designed by Scotland's prison inmates will feature among the Show Gardens at Gardening Scotland on 3 - 5 June.

SRUC's Hive Jive show garden. Image: Supplied
SRUC's Hive Jive show garden. Image: Supplied

'Within these walls – a journey inside' will be designed and created by men from Glenochil prison in Alloa and women from Cornton Vale prison in Stirling.

This garden "will showcase the horticultural knowledge and skills of more than 40 men and women from both prisons, taking visitors on a journey through the life of a prisoner - from the initial dark and lonely days through to the brighter moments of creating new friendships and embarking on new endeavours", according to a press statement.

Among the other show gardens are the 'Hive Jive' garden which pays homage to bumblebees and an outdoor space which demonstrates how society can effectively break down barriers to cancer care.

Eight show gardens, each measuring 10m x 10m, will be on display to the 35,000 visitors that are expected during the three-day event at Ingliston.

The show will also be home to the country's largest floral display with hundreds of exhibitors uniting under one roof in the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society's Floral Hall.

The 'Hive Jive' show garden will be created by students from Scotland's Rural Colleges (SRUC). This design will help to raise awareness of this small creature's value in the pollination of important food crops and wild and cultivated flowers. As well as highlighting facts about bees and their life cycles, the garden will inform visitors about the issues surrounding the decline of bees, promoting simple steps that can be taken to help these insects thrive.

The charity Macmillan Cancer Support will create a garden called 'Breaking the wall' which will highlight the difficulties that people face when dealing with cancer, and how barriers can be broken down to ensure patients are cared for effectively. The garden will be split into two sections separated by a large brick wall – with simulated wasteland on one side, and a lush garden of Eden on the other.

Martin Dare, Gardening Scotland's show organiser said: "Every year there is huge excitement and anticipation around Gardening Scotland's show gardens. As well as showcasing some of the finest floral delights that Scotland has to offer, each of the gardens tell their own story and offers a creative outlet for visitors and exhibitors to cherish and enjoy.

"We're very excited about the range of show gardens at this year's event, and we're confident that they will help visitors to create their own outdoor spaces to enjoy at home."

The 2016 'I Dig It' Award will represent the people's choice for the best Show Gardens at the event. It will be judged by the general public, and visitors to Gardening Scotland will have their say.

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