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Otley's green fingers get gold

PUBLISHED: 17:45 21 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:57 03 March 2010

A GROUP of Otley students have turned gardeners' fingers green with envy by winning a gold medal at Britain's biggest flower show.

The Chelsea Flower Show attracts top gardeners from around the world.

A GROUP of Otley students have turned gardeners' fingers green with envy by winning a gold medal at Britain's biggest flower show.

The Chelsea Flower Show attracts top gardeners from around the world. But 11 night-school students mowed down the opposition by winning the gong for best courtyard garden.

Richard Carter, chairman of the Otley College team, said: 'This is better than Christmas. If England win the World Cup,

I hope they feel half as good as this.

"When I arrived at the showground this morning I could see we'd been awarded a certificate. But when I saw it was the gold medal I was absolutely stunned."

Richard and his student colleagues, Marek Wysocki, Adele Horner, Christina Court, Jane Bastow, Sue Moyes, Lucille Thacker, Rachel Coxage, Juliana Harris, Anne Raymond and Ben Curtis, started planning the garden last year while working on

their Royal Horticultural Society diploma.

The hard work started in January with planting and designing at Crown Nursery, in High Street, Ufford, with college tutor, Christine Sheehan providing words of encouragement.

The exhibit, called Careless Rapture, after a line from a Robert Browning poem, was designed to be a natural-looking English spring garden.

And Richard, 47, of Hessett, near Bury St Edmunds, believes the back-to-nature approach was what impressed the judges.

He said: 'It really seems to have struck a chord. So many people have been saying it reminds them of their garden or their grandfather's garden.

Far from being put off by the group's new-found fame, Richard hopes it might lead to further recognition. He said: "We haven't had a visit from celebrity gardeners yet, but maybe they'll come and take a look now."


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