James Smith, Horticulture alumni from Moulton College has been invited to showcase his garden design ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ at the 2021 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Alex Pettitt, Managing Director at Topoforma Landscape, the company in charge of building James’s design also studied at Moulton College.
The 2021 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park., which takes place in Knutsford, celebrates the positive influence of flowers and plants and the creativity of garden designers across the country. James’s design, inspired by the mental health challenges of 2020, aims to encourage those struggling with mental health to speak out.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of mental wellbeing and I wanted my garden design to spark a healthy conversation about mental health. Throughout the lockdowns we all became aware of our connections to nature, which is why my design includes natural materials; oak pillars, corten edging and a water feature to name a few examples.”
The choice of plants has also had a huge influence on the design, with sensory elements a key feature. Grasses and perennials add texture and sound, and the sunlight filtering properties of certain plant species help counteract anxiety, depression and loneliness.
Alex Pettitt, Managing Director at Topoforma Landscape said:
“James is our Consultant Landscape Designer, and it’s been great fun working with him to fulfil his vision for this design. The focus of his work to highlight the benefits of nature and mental health, and initiate healthy conversations around the topic couldn’t have come at a better time. Myself and James both studied Horticulture at Moulton College and without doubt, the teaching and facilities at the College have helped us get to where we are today.”
Louise Fletcher, Head of School for Land-based and Equine studies at Moulton College said:
“What an achievement! It’s fantastic to see the work of James and Alex recognised at such a high level as the RHS Show! Our Horticulture course has been specifically designed to support students’ creativity in the field of landscaping, and it’s great to see the next generation making the most of these skills.”
James has also been listed as one of Pro Landscaper magazine's '30 Under 30', which celebrates up and coming landscapers in horticulture, arboriculture, and garden design.
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