A garden full of weeds has been awarded a gold medal at a Royal Horticultural Society show despite its creator expecting to receive “nil points”.
The plot – named Weed Thriller – was handed the award at Tatton Flower Show in Cheshire on Wednesday.
Weed Thriller’s horticulturist Sandra Nock told the BBC: “I think we genuinely thought that presenting ragwort to a horticultural society, that we would be given a nil points principle result and they were so receptive and complimentary.
“Without this kind of multi-layer native planting, a lot of our insects and birds just wouldn’t cope.”
Rachel Evatt from Sunart Fields – the Derbyshire farm behind the concept said: “They are wild plants that have been branded incorrectly as weeds and some people would say that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place.
“So what we are saying is really to embrace all of these wild plants, especially controversial species like the ragwort, which are one of the most important sources of nectar for a wide variety of insects.
“We are just trying to rebrand the weed as just wild plants that we can embrace and enjoy as much as we can other flowers.”
The team behind the plot, named Weed Thriller, wanted to show that native plants are not just beautiful but essential for wildlife
The team behind the plot take home gold
Sunart Fields tweeted their excitement at receiving their award alongside pictures of the weeds and the team, writing: “And it’s GOLD for our border ‘Weed Thriller’ at #RHSTattonPark.
“We brought #rewilding to the RHS and they loved it. What an amazing team effort, thank you to everyone involved. Let’s all grow some ragwort and thistle.”
The main weed in the garden – Ragwort – which has a scientific name of Senecio Jacobaea – is described on the Royal Horticultural website as a “native biennial which is a food source for a wide range of insects.”
The site goes on to highlight that it is potentially harmful to horses, writing: “It is not usually a significant problem in gardens, but it’s poisonous qualities can make it a serious weed of paddocks and gardens backing onto fields grazed by horses or cattle.”
Despite it being dangerous for foal, it has been named in the past by the AgriLand project as one of the top ten nectar providers for pollinators.
Weed Thriller’s award comes just a couple of weeks after the Government backed a movement dubbed ‘no-mow’ to encourage people to cut their grass less, in a bid to increase food substance for bees.