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Sparsholt College’s 2020/21 garden ‘The Natural Kalendar’ celebrates a true hero of Hampshire and the natural world in the tercentenary of Gilbert White’s birth.

Work on the garden began with 2020’s cohort of second year Level 3 Horticulture students, and has continued with the new student group for 2021 for the rescheduled RHS Chelsea Flower Show date. Plant materials and garden design have been adapted and developed by the 2021 students to represent the changing show date from May to September and of course staying true to phenology, one of exhibit’s main themes. 

Created in collaboration with Gilbert White & the Oates Collections, the garden is sponsored by seed and plant specialist Thompson & Morgan. The garden takes as its theme climate change, showing how observations by White (1720-1793), the father of ecology, enlightened people to the changing seasons and species activity.

The garden brings to life phenology – the study of nature’s lifecycles and seasonal variations in climate from 300 years in the past through to the present day, looking into the potential impact on future plant species survival.


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