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Continuing & Professional Education student wins RHS Gold Prize at Hampton Court

17 July 2015

An overwiew of the prize winning garden at Hapmton Court
Anthea Guthrie's prize winning Hampton Court garden

A Cardiff University alumnus and Continuing & Professional Education student, Anthea Guthrie, has won the Gold Prize in the Best Historic Garden category at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2015. The garden entitled ‘Winnie the Pooh begins his journey’ and sponsored by Botanica World Discoveries is inspired by A A Milne’s well-loved stories.

Anthea was inspired to create the garden after attending a garden history course run by Stephen Parker at the University’s Continuing & Professional Education in 2014. The course, entitled ‘They made a garden’ showcased several writers’ gardens which were highly creative and motivated Anthea to design her own. She remembers that:

“Stephen’s presentations were truly eye opening and I began to think about doing a garden with a writer’s retreat. I added a further dimension to humanise it and give it a sense of time. The ‘hand, head and heart’ ethos of the arts and crafts movement, the huge interest in the natural, and the idea of inspiration coming from a child all came together to make ‘Winnie the Pooh begins his journey’. Garden history is a wonderful subject full of interest to anyone who loves social history, design, and of course gardens.”

In designing the garden, Anthea imagined a world where A A Milne would write in his woodland shelter finding inspiration in the sight of his son Christopher Robin playing with his toys – the original Winnie the Pooh and all the other characters. The garden combines the themes of childhood make believe and adult creativity by being both a writer’s retreat and a child’s wild playground. A prominent feature of the garden is an Art and Crafts style shelter with glass bottles and bubbles in a cob wall, which is placed at the end of a large country garden in the midst of wildflower meadows.

An image of the garden taken from a different side
An image of the garden taken from a different side

Both Anthea and her husband have attended courses at Continuing & Professional Education and are very enthusiastic about them:

“’I firmly believe in learning and over the years I have had every reason to be grateful to the tutors at the Centre. (…) We are both grads from Cardiff (…), both missed studying and now, especially as we are getting towards retirement, it is good to know we will be able to choose from daytime and evening courses. We both like meeting the other students and have always found the groups and tutors welcoming. It’s a facility that would be greatly missed and we are very lucky to have it on our doorstep.”

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Flower Show took place between 30th June and 5th July. It is the world’s largest flower show and celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.

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