Church Stretton garden designer wins gold at Shrewsbury Flower Show

Mike Russell
Mike Russell

The ‘Seaside Garden’, specially designed for the Severndale Specialist School at Monkmoor, was designed by Mike Russell and includes a clinker boat and a driftwood shack. Reclaimed timbers or groynes from Borth beach have been made into planters and have added a very authentic smell and feel to the seaside show garden. The planting includes plants such as trachycarpus, festuca, sempivirums, arrmeria, eryngium, scabious and osteospermum, in the ‘Borth’ planters.

Mike said “I’d managed to source quite a few authentic accessories for the garden, including an old 1960’s Bush radio, a couple of directors chairs and a surf board, and we also have fishing nets, driftwood, shells and old rope all collected by pupils from the Severndale School”.

Judging for the show gardens took place on Thursday afternoon and judges included Frank Hardy, a previous honorary horticultural advisor to the Shrewsbury Horticultural Society. Mike said “the garden looks incredible, we are all so pleased to have won the award – it really does go to show much hard work and dedication pays off”.

Mike continued “this year, the Severndale Garden is sponsored by solicitors Lanyon Bowdler, who also supported the Headway Garden that we designed for Shrewsbury Flower Show last year. Staff from Lanyon Bowdler have also helped raise the plants”.

After the event, elements of the garden will be carefully ‘relocated’ to create a sensory courtyard garden at the school in Monkmoor.

A very happy Mike continued “our first day has been amazing, people have been really interested in the planting scheme that we’ve used, and the clinker boat has really made us stand out! It is alwasy hard work, but to have received another gold award is just fantastic for everyone who has put work into the garden”.

Last year, Mike and his team won Shrewsbury Horticultural Society Gold and the Mike Hough Memorial Trophy for Best Outdoor Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show for the ‘All Inclusive’ garden they build for Headway Shropshire.