A new garden space - donated by the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) as part of its centenary celebrations - has been officially opened at the National Memorial Arboretum.The multiple award winning IQ Quarry Garden garden, designed by garden expert Paul Hervey-Brookes, was featured at this year’s RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, picking up 'Best In Show', a coveted Gold Medal and 'Best Construction' accolades from esteemed Royal Horticultural Society judges.
At 480m², the Quarry Garden was one of the largest RHS show gardens ever, but it has now been reimagined to fit a bespoke space just inside the entrance to the National Memorial Arboretum.
Mr Hervey-Brookes, who was responsible for interpreting the IQ Quarry Garden at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: 'The new design is true to the spirit of the original IQ Quarry Garden, which represented the life cycle of a quarry, from extraction to reinstatement and sustainability.
'It incorporates many of the features of the RHS Chatsworth show garden, including elements of ‘Passing Light’, a three metre tall, distressed Corten steel sculptural artwork created by artist Ann-Margreth Bohl. Hidden amongst the planting are a number of slate monoliths, acknowledging the garden’s quarrying roots.
'We have created a linear ‘walk-through’ space, providing a beautifully planted corridor linking elements of the Arboretum. It’s wonderful to think that the garden will now be enjoyed by future generations, as well as providing a lasting legacy to the Institute’s centenary.'
The opening ceremony - which was held last month - was attended by a number of past and present presidents of the Institute of Quarrying, alongside special guests drawn from across the minerals extraction sector and representatives of the National Memorial Arboretum and The Royal British Legion.
The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round Centre for Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is located on a restored former sand and gravel quarry, which was gifted on a peppercorn rent by Tarmac with a 999 year lease.
James Thorne, chief executive officer of the Institute of Quarrying, said: 'The IQ Quarry Garden played a big part in the Institute’s centenary celebrations campaign. But RHS show gardens are a huge amount of work for a short, five day window of opportunity for the public to enjoy. So we have donated the garden, albeit in a new layout, to the National Memorial Arboretum, where it can be enjoyed for years to come.'
IQ Chairman Phil Redmond added: 'Throughout our centenary year we have taken our message out to the public, our membership and the sector as a whole. We set out to challenge expectations and perceptions of our industry. The IQ Quarry Garden is possibly the best example of this.
'The National Memorial Arboretum provides a fitting home for the IQ Quarry Garden, given the Arboretum is on the site of a former quarry. I’m personally delighted that we have a found the perfect setting for this inspirational garden.'
Sarah Montgomery, managing director of the National Memorial Arboretum, commented: 'The Arboretum lies at the centre of the Trent Valley’s valuable sand and gravel resources and, with active working for minerals close by, we have a daily reminder of the origins of our site. This new garden will help explain to visitors the evolution of the landscape and illustrate the wonderful uses that former quarries can be put to.
'The IQ Quarry Garden is not only a beautiful addition to the Arboretum, but it will also play an important role linking several of our other gardens and memorials, helping visitors explore this area of our grounds in a new way.'