WHEN people ask Pauline Stanley how her garden grows, she will soon be able to point them in the direction of Bournemouth Library.

For the artist is to install what may be the biggest ever knitted garden made in the UK for a month-long exhibition.

Hundreds of knitters from far and wide (but mostly from Dorset) have contributed life-size pieces to the garden, which will creep over bookcases, blossom on pillars and cascade over balconies between May 3 and June 4.

Pauline, 56, of Charminster in Bournemouth, had the idea for the community project 18 months ago and put out an appeal for contributors on the internet.

“I thought we may have 200-300, but it’s probably 1,500 by now,” she said.

“Gardening is something we all know and love. It’s very English and very Bournemouth. There’s been a fantastic public response and there are 50 different groups involved.

“I wanted to stretch people’s imagination and creativity. One woman has made a garden shed and tools. Another emailed to say she’s doing bats and rhubarb. A woman vicar from South Shields has sent a mole and molehill. I get parcels and surprises every day. It should be a lovely exhibition.”

Other contributions include knitted and crocheted flowers, vegetables, trees, crazy paving paths, lily ponds, rose arches, a washing line of knickers, foxes, hedgehogs, slugs, mice and chickens.

Some of the knitters have profound disabilities and many have used skills passed down the generations. The youngest participant is three and the oldest 99.

The exhibition is part of Bournemouth’s Big Green Fortnight and National Family Week. Free family knitting workshops will be held in the library from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on May 14, 21 and 28 – wool, needles and patterns will be provided.

Pauline would like the exhibition to go other venues.

“I’m hoping people will be inspired and will add to it,” she said.

For more information, see bloomingmarvellous1.blogspot.com.