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County designers strike gold – for the third year running

Mother-and-son team's design is out of this world

Watch This Space, designed by Dori and Howard Miller of Ledsham

A design duo from Ledsham scored a hat-trick at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show last week, winning gold for the third year running.

Former teacher and amateur garden designer Dori Miller and her architect son Howard were presented with the Royal Horticultural Society’s top accolade for their design for the National Schools’ Observatory.

Watch this Space was an artistic interpretation of a rare and important event that will happen in our own galaxy this summer or autumn when a huge cloud of dust and gas will encounter the super-massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy and be torn asunder.

The Millers used loose, airy foliage and spiral patterns to recreate the centre of the galaxy, with red and blue plantings representing different coloured stars. A Mobius strip of horticultural windbreak on scaffold posts encircled and partially encloses the spiral garden, representing the infinity of space.

Visitors could walk through the garden along spiral dust lanes that descend towards the black hole, represented by a sculpture. A telescope allowed visitors a close-up view of the centre of the garden.

Developed in association with the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) the design was also given an award for creativity at the 2013 show.

Ledsham designers Howard and Dori Miller with Prof Mike Bode (LJMU) and David Binks (Landstruction)
 

Director of the Astrophysics Research Institute, Professor Mike Bode said: “We were delighted to receive a gold medal. The National Schools’ Observatory excites and inspires young people about the study of science in general through their innate interest in astronomy and space exploration.”

Dori and Howard also won gold for their design of the Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT) garden World Without Torture last year.

They first collaborated on the design of Oxfam’s garden When the Waters Rise for the 2011 show.

Dori, a singer with the Chester choir A Handbag of Harmonies, first designed a garden for the RHS Flower Show in 2010 when she won a silver medal for her Back-to-Back garden design to celebrate the choir’s 10th anniversary.

On winning gold for the third time, Dori said: “It was fantastic to collaborate with the National Schools’ Observatory this year and the gold medal is an excellent result.”

When asked what plans the duo have next, Dori replied: “I will just have to use the garden name and say ‘Watch This Space!’”

 

 

 

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