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Lowestoft boatbuilding college to highlight the ancient Broads at Chelsea Flower Show

PUBLISHED: 16:18 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:31 17 May 2017

Gary Breeze'’s sketch of the Broadland Boatbuilder'’s Garden which will feature in the Artisan category at Chelsea.

Gary Breeze'’s sketch of the Broadland Boatbuilder'’s Garden which will feature in the Artisan category at Chelsea.

Archant

The beauty of the Broads in all its glory is to be showcased at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show this weekend.

The team from the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, with their garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Picture: Lyn Tupper. The team from the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, with their garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Picture: Lyn Tupper.

The International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) in Lowestoft has been inspired by the traditional skills it teaches and the ancient landscape of the Broads to sponsor an artisanal garden.

It features their three quarter size replica of a 1,000 year-old oak boat discovered beside the River Chet in 2013, and the garden reflects how a boat-builder of the time would have lived and worked.

Lyn Tupper, owner of the IBTC said: “Nobody knows much about the boat other than it was found in good condition, buried in the mud.

“The actual boat is being preserved up in York and next year we’ll be able to get our hands on it and build as accurate a replica as we can.

“We’re doing the garden this year to promote the college and the skills we teach.”

A team of about 20 college students are working hard at the show helping put the finishing touches to the garden, ready for it to be judged this weekend.

It was designed by Gary Breeze, a former student and member of staff at IBTC.

He entered the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year, taking home a gold medal, winning Best Fresh Garden. And he hopes he can replicate that success this year.

“We’ve created a boatyard as it would have been,” he said. “I’ve only done this twice and both times it seems to be coming together as planned, but there are lots of surprises as well. Plants related to one another in their own way. It’s quite exciting.”

The garden will contain plants native to the Broad’s dykes, such as Meadowsweet and Purple and Yellow Loosestrife. An area of shorter fenland vegetation contains Southern and Early Marsh Orchid, as well as flowering herbs and vegetables.

Chelsea Flower Show is open to the public from Tuesday, May 23 to Saturday, May 27 at the Royal Hospital gardens in Chelsea.

•Are you working on a special project? Email the details to lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk or call 01502 525835.

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