Brinsbury blacksmithing students help legacy garden strike gold

1st July 2015

Students studying blacksmithing at Chichester College’s Brinsbury campus are celebrating after playing a key role in creating an award-winning garden at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Ann-Marie Powell visits the frame begin built by Brinsbury students for the Macmillan Legacy Garden.
Ann-Marie Powell visits the frame begin built by Brinsbury students for the Macmillan Legacy Garden.

The Macmillan Legacy Garden is one of two gardens to be awarded a gold medal by judges at this year’s show.

Working with television presenter and garden designer Ann-Marie Powell the students, under the guidance of their tutor Colm O’Gallachoir, built the frame for a special ‘pod’ that is at the heart of the Macmillan Legacy Garden. It has been covered in ferns with a tree planted in a hole in the centre of the structure.

It’s the first time students from the blacksmithing and farrier courses have worked on a project like the Macmillan Legacy Garden. When the structure was nearing completion the students received a visit from Ann-Marie and a BBC Gardener’s World television crew who filmed the pod and carried out interviews. 

Tutor Colm O’Gallachoir said: “This was a very challenging project for the students and the timescale was very tight. The result is brilliant and I am very proud of what we have achieved. Working with Ann-Marie on such a meaningful and prestigious project is such a fantastic opportunity for the students. To help Ann-Marie win a gold medal is the icing on the cake.”

Garden designer Ann-Marie Powell added: “I have been so impressed by the Brinsbury students and their tutors and it has been a pleasure working with them. We couldn’t have brought the design for the Macmillan Legacy Garden to life without their help. The pod is critical to the design and is at the heart of the garden – providing a place where people can come and reflect and find solace.”

A number of techniques have been used to create the structure including cold bending, welding, weaving, forming and shaping.

There are a range of blacksmithing and access to farriery courses at Brinsbury which is the one of the few colleges in the UK with its own forge.