It’s not often that a student’s final exam is viewed by thousands of people – but one Niagara College Horticultural Technician student will soon have her work showcased at Canada’s largest open-air outlet mall.
A garden designed by second-year student Caylen Bellis, who will graduate in June, will soon bloom at the Outlet Collection at Niagara – a designer outlet mall popular with tourists and locals alike just steps away from the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. As an exam for their herbaceous perennials class, students were tasked with designing a garden considering site parameters and client requests. Mall officials recently selected Bellis’ circular mandala design, marked by bright and splashy flowers and foliage of various shapes and sizes, as the winner.
Travis Jeffray, operations manager at Outlet Collection at Niagara, noted that the winning design was selected based on creativity, plant selection and design presentation.
“This initiative provides the opportunity for students to express their creativity through design and for the award-winning design to be brought to life for thousands to see,” said Jeffray.
On the morning of June 1, Bellis will be on site when the new 1,200-square-foot garden is planted by the College’s first-year Horticultural Technician students.
“This is an excellent project because our second-year students get to implement what they have learned all semester into an actual design and then they get to see it planted,” said School of Environment and Horticulture Studies professor Dena Gavin. “It is also great for the first-year students that will be planting it as part of the practical course because they will be the ones designing it next year.”
The new garden will be planted adjacent to a busy bus drop-off location near Marshalls. “This is a wonderful location to show off the work of Niagara College students as it is the entry point of all our group tours, with passengers visiting from all over the world,” said Jeffray.
Bellis, who is a Thorold resident (originally from Windsor), said she was excited about the opportunity to have her work on public display.
“It has definitely given me a confidence boost in my designing abilities,” she said. “Taking what I learned and applying it was one thing, but to get acknowledged for it makes me want to do more designs.”
This is the second year that the Outlet Collection at Niagara has hosted the garden design contest for NC Horticultural Technician students.
Planting of student’s winning garden design
Wednesday, June 1, 10:30 a.m.
Outlet Collection at Niagara, 300 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake
Bus stop behind Marshalls
Niagara College Horticultural Technician student Caylen Bellis (garden designer);
School of Environment and Horticulture Studies professor Dena Gavin;
Travis Jeffray, operations manager, Outlet Collection at Niagara
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Tourism Manager, Outlet Collection at Niagara College
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