‘A Homecoming Prayer’ secures gold and best in show at Harrogate Spring Flower Show 2017
The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI)has confirmed that ‘A Homecoming Prayer’, the largest ever show garden at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show, which has been sponsored by BALI and its Registered members, has been awarded a Gold medal from a leading panel of expert judges. Adding to this achievement, the garden was also awarded the highest marks at this year’s event, taking home Best in Show.
The Japanese-themed show garden was designed and built by Peter Cunliffe and his team from award-winning BALI Registered Contractor Northumbrian Landscaping on behalf of their client the 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, who commissioned the design of a new memorial garden to replace their existing plot at their base barracks, located at Dishforth Airfield, following the Harrogate Spring Flower Show event, which opened to the public today.
BALI’s Registered Affiliate members supported the memorial garden by providing high quality, hard and soft landscaping materials including exquisite nursery stock adding form and structure and naturally sourced timber and stone which helped to create attractive focal points throughout the garden. Members involved with the project included Green-tech, Johnsons of Whixley, Lindum Turf and The Resin Mill, all who provided materials at significantly reduced costs to help bring the garden to life. BALI was also joined by main sponsor Hesco and worked with Help for Heroes to support the garden from conception through to build.
6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps was formed in 1993 and has deployed on operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Cyprus. They have approximately 550 personnel from around 27 nations based at Dishforth, North Yorkshire. The regiment is responsible for delivering the right supplies to the right people at the right time, in times of war and peace, which means they have many members deployed around the globe at any one time.
Help for Heroes supports those with injuries and illnesses sustained while serving in the British Armed Forces. No matter when someone served, the Charity gives them the support they need to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives. Specialist teams focus on the five key areas of an individual’s life: medical, mind, body, spirit and family. Help for Heroes provides support to the whole family to help them all cope with the challenges they face. Long-term recovery is more than repairing damaged bodies and minds; it’s about rebuilding lives.
Leeds-based Hesco is a globally renowned manufacturer of defensive barriers used to protect military personnel overseas and to save homes and businesses from flooding.
Padre Captain James Harding from 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps commented: “We are all so thrilled that the ‘A Homecoming Prayer’ show garden has won Gold and Best in Show. This is only the first part of this garden’s amazing journey, including the relocation of this show garden to Dishforth, which will form part of a much larger memorial space for the Regiment. It’s been a real team effort and has helped raise the profile of the 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, generating much needed funds that will help our veterans and their families during and following periods of national service”.
Peter Cunliffe, proprietor of Northumbrian Landscaping, was joined by veterans from Help for Heroes as part of their recovery pathway, and servicemen from the 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, in both laying out the foundations for the memorial garden site at Dishforth Airfield, and building the show garden itself, on-site at Harrogate.
When asked about the project, Peter commented: “This garden is incredibly special to me and the team. It not only helps showcase unique products and materials within a professional show garden environment, but it also provides a truly reflective space for the regiment and their families to utilise once the garden is relocated back to Dishforth, to aid personnel in their recovery by providing a haven that affords relaxation and calm”.
The garden will be relocated post-show, in its entirety, to its final home at Dishforth Airfield, near Thirsk, with plans to include a new Cenotaph area incorporated adjacent to the garden once the relocation is complete. It is hoped that the garden will not only enhance the barracks, but also kick start wider gardening initiatives including workshops for military wives and partners.
Peter continued: “At the request of the Corps, the garden must provide an oasis of peace during the hustle and bustle of a busy army barracks. The circular design and screening create isolation from the garden’s surroundings, while a central, cedar clad prayer house and seating area offer the perfect place for thought and meditation”.
The garden was officially opened with a spectacular and moving performance from the Military Wives choir, who sang to a hundred-strong crowd with ‘A Homecoming Prayer’ providing the perfect backdrop. The garden was also visited by the Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate Nick Brown, alongside Mayoress Linda Brown, chairman of Harrogate Spring Flower Show Chris Smith, vice chair Caroline Baylis and president Jonathan Moseley.
BALI’s chief executive Wayne Grills was in attendance on Thursday, helping to support the opening of the garden, commented: “It is testament to the expert skills, hard work and determination of Peter and his team from Northumbrian Landscaping, and, the servicemen and women who helped build the garden, that this year’s entry has been a total success. Winning Gold is a significant achievement and reflects BALI’s commitment to supporting and encouraging landscaping excellence across the UK. BALI would like to congratulate Peter, the sixth Regiment Royal Logistics Corps and everyone involved with the garden for promoting the importance of teamwork and camaraderie for a truly worthy cause. We hope the six Regiment Royal Logistic Corps enjoy their new memorial garden for many years to come”.
This is the second medal and Best in Show win for BALI Registered Contractor Northumbrian Landscaping at Harrogate Spring Flower Show for two years running. Peter also designed and built the spectacular ‘Tea for Two’ show garden back in April 2016, having secured Premier Gold and Best in Show.