Capel Manor took the Silver Gilt Flora in the RHS Environment section, while garden design students won first prize for their display in the Fresh Talent competition and former graduates also won gold for their WaterAid garden in the Artisan Garden category.
Capel Manor’s senior gardeners were in charge of developing the Evolution of Capel Manor College and Gardens exhibit.
The exhibit tells the story of how the gardens and educational facilities at the centre have evolved from when it was a private garden to the present day.
They used timelines to show the most popular plants and gardening tools over the years as well as the changing methods of pest and disease control.
They also referenced Capel Manor’s contribution towards enhancing the quality of horticultural education, training and technology.
Senior gardener, Julie Phipps said: “It was very nerve wracking walking into the pavilion on medals day. We were thrilled to receive our Silver Gilt Flora Medal and we later found out that we were only two marks off from getting Gold.
“The exhibit has been well received by the show visitors and the week has been successful for the college with the potential recruitment of new students as well as new visitors to the gardens.”
Former Capel Manor students Patricia Thirion and Janet Honour were delighted to have Ringo Starr officially open their garden which was inspired by the work of WaterAid in India.
It showed the transformation brought about by access to clean water including improved hygiene and sanitation and the benefits to the economy.
The garden contains an Indian village house, a tap stand, rainwater harvesting container and planked walkways.
A blaze of colour, the garden is also filled with marigolds, roses and hanging garlands as well bamboos, rubber plants and Jasminum.
Capel Manor College’s principal and CEO Steve Dowbiggin said: “It always makes me very proud to be at the Chelsea Flower Show. Where else would the seasoned professional encourage and support new talent who will be their future competitors.”
By Natalie O'Neill