Sheffield landscaper’s garden is fit for the Queen

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A Sheffield academic helped to put the crowning jewel in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Buckingham Palace called upon the creative skills of Dr Nigel Dunnett, a pro-vice chancellor at the University of Sheffield, to design a garden to commemorate the monarch’s 60-year reign.

The Department of Landscape lecturer was asked to create a green space in London’s Victoria Business Improvement District to mark the combined anniversaries of the accession in 1952 and coronation in 1953.

His creation has a striking diamond pattern marked out with strips of Portland Stone and is located in a prime location by the Queen’s Gallery and bound to get the royal seal of approval.

The Diamond Garden has also been designed to withstand surface water flooding the area is susceptible to.

Plants will intercept and trap rainfall, channelling water down into the soil, or holding it within the rosettes and leaves.

Nigel, who has been at the university since 1994, said: “The combination of no irrigation, reduced energy requirements, high wildlife and biodiversity value, and its role in urban water management means that this is a very sustainable garden, and one that is ‘future-proofed’ in terms of our changing and unpredictable climate.

“It is a model of how we can adapt our urban areas, and our gardens and parks, to face the challenges of the future.”

The unveiling comes fresh from Nigel’s success at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, where he won a gold award.

The green-fingered doctor also helped to create horticultural displays for the Olympic Park for London 2012.

Sir David Walker, master of the household at Buckingham Palace said: “The beautiful façade is now complemented by a wonderful area of calm and beauty.

“Victoria BID and Nigel have created a garden bathed in light that the public can enjoy. It will be an enduring legacy.”

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