Brownies and Girl Guides celebrate at RHS Tatton (with audio)

PUBLISHED: 11:16 07 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:09 20 February 2013

Back row: Rhona Kerr, Lydia Branham, Libby Mooney, Katie Siwek, Danielle Bentley, Alex Lyons, Cara Armstrong. Front row: Ciara Cumberlidge, Charlotte Tims and Ellen Codling

Back row: Rhona Kerr, Lydia Branham, Libby Mooney, Katie Siwek, Danielle Bentley, Alex Lyons, Cara Armstrong. Front row: Ciara Cumberlidge, Charlotte Tims and Ellen Codling

Meet the resourceful Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides hoping for success to mark a special anniversary at this year's RHS Tatton Flower Show

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When a group of Girl Scouts turned up at the first Boy Scouts meeting in Crystal Palace 100 years ago it was a defining moment. At that time girls werent encouraged to do the same things as their male counterparts but this meeting was the beginning of the Girl Guide movement. A century later and the group, set up by Agnes Baden-Powell, has increased from 6,000 members in 1910 to 600,000 today in the UK and 10 million Guides worldwide.

Members of the Girlguiding Cheshire Border group did not want this important milestone to go unnoticed. Since September many of the Rainbows, Brownies, Girl Guides and Trefoil Guild a group members can join once they reach 21, have been busy thinking up ideas and plans for a special commemorative garden to show at RHS Tatton Flower Show.

Libby Mooney, guide leader and divisional commander of Capesthorne Division, said: 'When the Scouts celebrated their centenary a few years ago they produced a back-to-back garden for Tatton and were awarded a Silver Gilt. It was very popular with the boys who took part and I thought it would be good for the guides to have a go at doing the same.
'It's a fantastic way to celebrate the centenary but also get them working together as a group and to think about guiding.'

Ideas thought up by the younger groups were submitted at the end of last year as part of a competition. Many of these ideas have now been incorporated into the final designs orchestrated by guide leader, Libby. Drawings of the final garden have been made up by Manchester Metropolitan University students Danielle Bentley and Louise Nugent and members of the Cheshire community have already pledged support to the girls efforts.

A guiding pink centenary rose, said to represent happiness and bred especially for the special year, will also be a prominent feature

Flowers including buddleia and lavender to attract wildlife will form part of the garden as well as soft fruits like strawberries and gooseberries. Many of the flowers will bloom with bright pinks, pale blues and yellows to match the colours that have been chosen for the centenary celebrations.

A guiding pink centenary rose, said to represent happiness and bred soley for the special year, will also be a prominent feature. The group have been busily growing plants in their gardens to install in the show display. The remainder of the flowers are being donated from local nurseries.

A silver birch, a tree of significance to the guiding community because of its links to guiding songs, will stand in one corner of the garden and recycled roof slates and remnant wood from a Congleton tree surgeon will be used to create borders and pathways to represent the journey guides make.

A large water feature, signifying the global nature of the girl guide movement will act as a focal point. Renowned chainsaw carver Tim Burgess, from Rostherne, is going to produce a wooden owl for the garden. He will make this at a fun day on April 17th at Terra Nova School. In addition, Knutsford blacksmith Gary Horne has also worked on a design for a bench, incorporating elements of the special centenary branding.

In the run up to the event many of the over-16s will help to build the garden at Tatton Park and younger members will get the opportunity to explain its significance to the thousands of visitors at the popular show.
Libby said: We want the garden to represent the key values of guiding and for it to be something that everyone is proud of taking part in. It will be blooming with the centenary colours as well as lots of fruits and plants to attract wildlife and beautiful, fragrant herbs.

This is a very important project for us. Many of our members are keen gardeners and everyone has really got involved.

For 13-year-old guide Cara Armstrong, it has been exciting. She said: I cant wait for everything to start growing now and Im really looking forward to going to the show. Ive never been before and Ill be there to tell people all about our garden. Ive learned so much already.

After the famous event has taken place the garden will be transplanted to Egerton Hall, a beautiful building in Rostherne regularly used by the Brownies as well as the local community, and will be left there as a lasting reminder of the centenary.

'We would love a gold award,' said Libby. 'That would be the icing on the cake. But after that it will be something for the community as well as a place for us to reflect, enjoy story-telling and appreciate what we have all achieved. It will be a lasting legacy and a permanent reminder of this very special 100th anniversary.'

Libby is still looking for help from the Cheshire community whether it is financial or the donation of items to use in the garden. Contact her by email on

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