A green-fingered mature student is looking forward to showing off her handiwork at Scotland’s biggest horticultural festival.
Ruth Howell won the chance to make her design a reality for the Gardening Scotland festival in Ingliston next month.
The 53-year-old, who is studying at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, used legendary Scottish plant hunter George Forrest as her inspiration behind her latest work.
A mock-up of the garden was made at Mains of Drum Garden Centre this week as she prepares to get everything just right for the show, which runs from Friday to Sunday next week.
Mrs Howell, from Milltimber, said: “Designing the garden took about a month and our team of garden design students has had six months to gather materials and prepare to build the garden, and along the way we’ve had a lot of help from Scottish businesses, both in Aberdeen and beyond.
“It’s very colourful. Only the judges will get to walk through it, but the public will be able to walk past it. Hopefully they are intrigued by it and want to have a peek inside.”
She added: “It’s a bit radical and different.
“The theme is around George Forrest, who was a world famous plant hunter. He went to China and personally brought back some pretty amazing plants.
“He didn’t write books so he’s not that well known now, but in his time he was very famous.
“He loved adventure and loved exploring dangerous places. He was very much an Indiana Jones-type character.
“In the garden I’ll be using plants that he brought back, and others that look very similar to ones that he discovered. Most people will probably have something in their garden that he brought back.”
Mrs Howell was previously an oil company geologist, but turned her back on the trade to become more in touch with nature.
Now, as the final preparations are made, she and the students are excited for the big festival.
She said: “Around 30,000 people will be coming to the show so it’s a big deal for us.
“It’s been good fun, we’ve got good people to work with.
“We’ve had lots of help from the Mains of Drum Garden Centre, they have given us the space and let us have plants and have been so supportive.”