Fantastic Results for Horticulture Students

2 min read

Harrowden Turf are proud to have supplied Meadowmat to a gold-medal winning garden at Gardening Scotland.

Design recalls one of Scotland’s important historical stories

The garden entitled “Hortus homicida” was designed and built by SRUC 2nd year garden design students.  Translated into English, “Hortus homicida” means “garden killer”.  The design commemorates the murder of Lord Darnley 450 years ago.  Lord Darnley was husband to Mary Queen of Scots and his death changed the course of our history.

The garden features were used to tell the story of Lord Darnley’s death – a mystery that has never been solved.

Lord Darnley was lodging in the Kirk o’ Field in Edinburgh Old Town when on 10th February 1567, an enormous explosion reduced the building to rubble.   The bodies of Lord Darnley and his groom were found, not in the remains of the Kirk o’ Field, but in the garden.  Both of the men were wearing their nightgowns and there was a single dagger between them.   Also in the garden were a chair and a length of rope.   Had the men been warned of the explosion and climbed out of a window only to be intercepted in the garden and strangled?  To this day, nobody has unravelled the mystery.

SRUC’s garden used materials and plants available in Tudor times and included clues so that visitors could draw their own conclusions as to what happened that night.

Why use wild flowers in this garden?

Plants in the garden would have been known to Tudor-time scots.   A wildflower meadow, such as the one created using Meadowmat would have been commonplace.

These images show the garden in all its glory.  I think you’ll agree it deserved a medal.

Meadowmat delivery to Gardening Scotland Show

Meadowmat arriving at the show ground.   Meadowmat is normally rolled up for transport however to prepare it for the show it spent some time in the SRUC grounds being grown.  The plants are quite tall here and so were transported flat to avoid crushing.

Meadowmat at SRUC just starting to bloom.  The pink flowers in the foreground are red campions.  You may also be able to spot the foliage of Ribwort Plantain, Birdsfoot Trefoil and Yarrow.  All plants that were commonly found in Tudor meadows.

Hortus Homicida the award winning garden at Gardening Scotland 2017

Hortus Homicida – the finished garden.  Can you spot any features from the story of Lord Darnely?  The fallen chair maybe?

SRUC garden design students with their certificate

SRUC 2nd year garden design students with their much deserved winners certificate


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