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Capel Manor College students welcome Her Majesty The Queen

Staff and students at London’s Capel Manor College welcomed Her Majesty the Queen for the opening of a new landscaping project.

Her Majesty was invited to open one of Capel Manor’s latest garden developments in the college’s Old Manor House garden.

The signature garden was created to tell the story of Capel Manor during the 800 years prior to becoming home to Greater London’s only land-based college, and was the brain child of Garden Design graduate and senior gardener Julie Philips. The garden also includes an area dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I.

Chief executive of Capel Manor Steve Dowbiggin made a short speech thanking Her Majesty for Her involvement in the project.

Mr Dowbiggin said: “The idea is to create a signature garden which tells the whole story of Capel Manor, not only in terms of its history but also what we have done. We have encouraged people to use horticulture in an imaginative way.”

As well as the opening, Her Majesty viewed student displays, including one floral display which was commended at this years RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Floral Design student Helen Gales was awarded a silver medal in the Floral Arrangements awards.

She was guided through the other key areas of Capel Manor’s gardens, even getting chance to view a garden dedicated to the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, opened by the Queen Mother in 2001. She also visited the John Woods Family Friendly garden – an evolution of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010 Gold medal winning ‘Upwardly Mobile’ garden.

Horticulture students were involved in the planting of the Old Manor House Garden in preparation for the royal visit. Those that met Her Majesty were impressed with Her knowledge of plants.

Head of college Madeline Hall said: “What impressed me most was The Queen’s deep interest in the work of the students, the breadth of Her knowledge and Her obvious delight with students who loved what they were learning.”

The project will be completed in 2012, and will see the recreation of a 16th Century manor house which was demolished in the 1800s.

The college hopes the finished development will double the 60,000 visitors it already sees every year.

Mark Astley

(Pictured: Her Majesty the Queen)

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