New Hall's Transit of Venus garden has been awarded a Bronze Flora medal at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.

The news was met with delight at New Hall, especially since this is the first time a Cambridge college has created a garden in the Show's 155-year history.

Like a number of other gardens this year, it took its inspiration from space.

The transit of Venus, when Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth, is a potent moment in the history of science, which inspired Captain Cook's Endeavour voyage.

The garden celebrates New Hall's lively spirit of scientific enquiry and its association with several eminent alumnae astronomers, including Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered pulsars during her time as a postgraduate student at the college.

The elliptical path Venus takes during its transit is represented by a curved wall weaving through the centre of the garden. Three mirrored panels reveal reflections, silhouettes and shadows and give visitors the sense that they are viewing the transit from different positions on Earth as they walk past.

Two globes represent the planets passing through time. A glass sphere at the back of the garden symbolises a planet still with its protective atmosphere, like Earth, while a parched Venus will be signified by a second globe at the front.

The garden was designed and created from start to finish by a team of alumnae, including the designer, Sue Goss, under the guidance of Head Gardener, Jo Cobb.

Anne Lonsdale, President of New Hall, said: “We are thrilled with this new and unusual accolade. New Hall's gardeners are wonderful, and it is typical of our multi-talented alumnae that they should have created such a prize-winning team. We are so grateful, too, to all our sponsors, alumnae, students and friends who have done so much to make this happen.”

Sue Goss said: “This medal makes all the hard work worthwhile! It was a special opportunity to create a garden that reflects New Hall's unique atmosphere and lively spirit of scientific enquiry”.

The garden, in the Chic Garden category, can be found at Royal Hospital Way 47.

Once the Show is over, many features of the New Hall garden will return to the college to create a new garden in commemoration of its founding President, Dame Rosemary Murray.

New Hall, which celebrated its half-century in 2004, is one of only three women's colleges of the University of Cambridge. The College is committed to the highest standards of education for women of all backgrounds, priding itself on its ability to select for outstanding potential, and enabling students to realise that potential both at Cambridge and in their future lives and careers.

The garden has been made possible by the generous support of sponsors, most of whom are local to Cambridge.

Lead Sponsors are AC Architects Cambridge Ltd , Bluestone, Mills and Reeve and Cheviot Asset Management.

The College has also received sponsorship from Acacia Tree Surgeons, Bradfield Properties, Call Printers, Cardinal Graphics, Davis Langdon LLP, Donarbon Skips, Elms BMW, Geneservice, Madingley Mulch, QuBE3, RH Partnership, Silvermans and Specialist Aggregates.

The Contractor is Dave Squires of Squires and Sons, Builders.

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