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The secret’s out: award for museum’s walled garden

Published: Wednesday, 29 November, 2017

The architect who designed the ‘secret garden’ within Stroud’s Museum in the Park has received an award for her sensitive design and success in engaging volunteers.

Landscape architect Rachael Emous-Austin of Austin Design Works was presented with a ‘highly commended’ award in the Small Projects category at the National Landscape Institute Awards ceremony held on November 23.  Joining her to celebrate were Ann Taylor, the museum's learning and programmes officer and Austin Design Works co-director Matthew Austin.

"We are all so proud; this is confirmation that everyone's efforts and perseverance have paid off," said Ann, who was part of the team who managed and fundraised for the project.

The Landscape Institute Awards celebrate the most creative and innovative landscape professionals in recognition of their outstanding work. The museum’s project was commended for the engagement of community volunteers during the design and build process and its sensitive, yet contemporary intervention in the setting of a listed building.

Rachael Emous-Austin said:

"Significantly, the volunteers worked alongside the main contractor to create the community space and orchard area. The museum now has a living experience for their visitors and a space in which to educate and entertain throughout the seasons. The town has its very own secret garden, crammed full of beautiful, colourful plants, fully accessible and free to visit throughout the year, something quite unique to the area."

Cllr John Marjoram, the Community Services and Licensing Committee representative to museum added:

"This is a wonderful long term achievement, considering that for many years the walled garden site was full of broken glass greenhouses buried amongst deep foliage. It is a visionary idea that has captured the imagination, firstly by the landscape architects, which then rubbed off to so many keen volunteers."

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