RHS Tatton Flower Show

Last July New Mills School was awarded a distinction at the annual RHS Flower Show for its entry in the School Front Garden Competition. It was one of eighteen schools taking part and there were only two distinctions awarded.

The Garden was inspired by the Industrial Heritage of New Mills and celebrated landmarks in its history over the past 600 years.  The project has taken about 6 months of preparation with lots of research being done particularly at the Heritage Centre in New Mills as well as work in the School’s nurseries nurturing the plants. It was a truly Cross Curricular project and involved the local community.

The garden “Let’s grow …Calico” had a backdrop painted by 6th Form Art students that depicted the 15th Century image of the Manorial Corn Mill of “New Milne” as well as images from the Torrs and the Millennium Walkway and from original calico prints.The garden itself focused on the development of the textile industry.

It had a handmade loom with a raised bed showing the way cotton was block printed using facsimiles and was planted with white lobelia to depict the raw cotton and Sanvitalia and Nepeta to create the printed cloth.  The second raised bed showed John Potts’s calico engraved roller which he invented in 1821 in New Mills for Calico printing and was planted with Calibrachoa, White Lobelia,Torenia, Golden Majoram and Impatiens.

The middle of the garden had a water wheel planted with white lobelia in a river of blue lobelia. In the river were Love Hearts with personalised messages like Love Cotton.

The different model were constructed in the school work shops and the scrapbook which forms part of the judging process depicting the journey from its initial ideas to completion at Tatton was created by a Year 10 English Student.

The team of students worked hard over their 2 build up days to create this amazing glimpse of history which was greatly admired by the many visitors from across the country.

Students manned the garden on the Show days and on Friday 23rd July the Mayor of the High Peak Councillor Stewart Young and the Mayoress Charlotte Young visited the garden and personally congratulated the students on their magnificent achievement.

The school was able to compete due to the financial support of Councillor Beth Atkins through the Leadership Fund DCC and Chafe’s Solicitors in New Mills. They were also given other donations from Swizzels Matlow, Redmoor and Maurice and Christine Lomas. New Mills Heritage Centre, Barry Bates and Steve Lewis were an integral part of the project.