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Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 09:31 UK
'Exciting' chance for amateur Olympic garden designer
Rachel's winning design for the Olympic garden competition
Ms Read's winning design will form part of the garden's final plans

An amateur gardener from Colchester who has designed the Olympic garden in Stratford says the process has been an eye-opening experience.

Rachel Read was one of two winners of an RHS prize to create a garden that will sit alongside the Olympic Stadium.

Since December she has been working with the Olympic Delivery Authority on the plans for the Great British Garden.

"It's really incredible and it's opened up other opportunities as well which have been really exciting," she said.

"It's something I do as an amateur for my own interest, but it has opened my eyes to other things and is exciting."

Since being announced as the winner of the adult section last November Ms Read has attended three workshops with the Olympic Delivery Authority to finalise the plans for the garden.

The final design will be unveiled in August.

It will be an amalgamation of Ms Read's 'spiral garden' design and the 'three-rings garden' of 11-year-old Hannah Clegg from Wiltshire, who won the junior section of the competition.

"Although it isn't the actual garden that I planned, to have been involved in the process was great," said Ms Read.

"The team of people that were there at the meetings and the workshops was just immense.

"There were health and security people to make sure it was a safe garden for people; there were landscape designers, the garden designers and all the professionals involved and it was a really interesting and eye-opening process to be involved in."

Designer of the Olympic garden Rachel Read
Occupational therapist Rachel Read is a part time gardener

Although she will not have any involvement in the process of creating the garden, Ms Read hopes to be able to make a few visits to the site for significant occasions such as the first planting, part way through the construction.

"Then obviously at the end when it is opened we'll hopefully get to cut the ribbon," she said.

The 1,000 sq m (10764 sq ft) garden is due to be completed by 2011, so it can mature in time for the games which begin in July 2012.

It will remain for the Olympic Park's post games usage.

"There are plans for the legacy as well, so the garden will evolve after the games," she said.

"There's going to be additional walkways and things going through it, so that it's more accessible in the future."




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