The Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) has gained a Gold Medal and creativity award for its Galaxy Garden at the 2013 RHS Tatton Show. The garden titled ‘Watch this Space’, is an artistic interpretation of a rare and important event that is happening in our own galaxy during summer/autumn 2013. 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 garden, was designed by Howard and Dori Miller, built by Landstruction and developed through the ARI’s National Schools’ Observatory. Visitors can walk through the garden along spiral dust lanes that descend towards the black hole (a sculpture), and experience ‘space’ amongst the loose airy foliage and spiral patterns of the planting. A Mobius strip of horticultural windbreak on scaffold posts encircles and partially encloses the spiral garden, representing the infinity of space. A telescope mounted on a viewing platform at a distance from the garden allows visitors a close-up view of the centre of the design.
It attracted 650 visitors in the first two hours alone and is set to be featured on Granada Reports tonight.
The Director of the Astrophysics Research Institute, Professor Mike Bode said:
"We are delighted to receive a gold for the garden which aims to create a sense of excitement and wonder by bringing to life otherwise abstract ideas; galaxies, huge clouds of dust and gas and super-massive black holes. 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. We have worked with several schools in explaining the garden to the public during the show.”
The RHS Tatton Show runs from July 25–28th 2013.