Garstang woman helps create green oasis at Myerscough College

In deep: Lizzie Steven sets to work on the wonderful surroundings at Myerscough College's Plant World

In deep: Lizzie Steven sets to work on the wonderful surroundings at Myerscough College's Plant World

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In Myerscough College’s Plant World you will find temperate and tropical zones, complete with terrapins and exotic song birds, and two hectares of landscaped gardens, all of them themed, to explore.

Plant World, open to the public daily, sells plants cultivated by students . Last year, the grounds picked up a gold award and the trophy for the best small tourist attraction in the North West in Bloom competition.

Garden guru Bill Blackledge paid tribute to head gardener Lizzie Stevens and her team. The 54-year-old, of Garstang, stood wader deep in pond slime, algae and accumulated debris and detritus. Lizzie, along with volunteers and students from the college, returned the pond to its former glory – and then surpassed all expectations.

Lizzie had not formally trained as a gardener before getting the top job of looking after the college’s own gardens.

Chiefs were impressed enough by her instinctive ability they snapped her up and signed her up to a year long Royal Horticultural Society course to hone her skills.

She said: “I’ve been a gardener here almost six years. Prior to that I worked for a few years in the nursery as a casual and used to help out in the garden as a labour of love or doing odd hours for other people.”