Horticulture students from Pershore College will be competing to win the Young Gardeners of the Year Award 2016 at the Ideal Home Show next year by creating a sustainable urban show garden to inspire, educate and connect people with nature.
The annual competition to celebrate young green talent, now in its sixth year, is organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. The competition sees six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges go head-to-head to create stunning sustainable urban show gardens, built in just one week. The finished gardens will be seen by a quarter of a million visitors at the Ideal Home Show in March.
Lucienne Corcos is one of the Level 3 Horticulture students from Pershore College taking part and attended the launch at Olympia London. She said, “At first we were feeling a bit nervous about it, but now we’re here it’s exciting. It’s our last year together as a group so it’s going to be fun, but hard work as it’s all in addition to our course. We’ve been meeting already about the design of the garden, and have got a few ideas in mind, but today has given us more to think about.”
Carol Smith, Lecturer in Garden Design said, “We’re absolutely delighted to be part of this competition, which gives our students a fantastic opportunity to showcase their talent and creativity to both industry experts and the 250,000 visitors to the Ideal Home Show.
“The students are already really excited about the competition and have been drawing up designs and ideas. There is going to be a lot of hard work involved, but it will be a fantastic experience for them. Last year Pershore won a gold medal so we’ve got a lot to live up to, but they are a really good group so I’m sure they can do it.”
David Domoney, organiser of the competition says: “I’m immensely proud to work with HRH The Prince of Wales and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, and to date we have given over 500 garden landscaping and design students the opportunity to build show gardens at a national event before they even leave the college gates. These young garden designers and landscape stars of the future are encouraged to use sustainable practices, which they will confidently pass on through generations. We look forward to seeing what these talented and inspiring young people create as they compete for the title of Young Gardeners of the Year.”
The Prince’s Foundation sets clear guidelines for the garden design based on organic and sustainable principles. This year The Prince’s Foundation have tasked the Young Gardeners with incorporating elements of an educational garden into the design which should aim to inspire people to reconnect with nature.
Simon Sadinsky, The Prince’s Foundation’s Head of Education, said: “This year, our vision is to see gardens that are not only visually appealing, but that can also act as a source of learning on a diversity of issues, such as health and nutrition, sustainability, biodiversity or art and science. We want to see spaces that encourage young people to engage with nature, so that they feel the natural world is as important as it is beautiful, and a valuable resource to be protected.
“We are inviting the Young Gardeners to demonstrate the educational value of nature to encourage the interest of future generations in the natural environment and contribute to the creation of beautiful, sustainable places.”
This year’s show gardens will be judged by an expert panel, which includes horticultural industry leaders, home and garden magazine editors and acclaimed garden designers. Entrants will compete to win the gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze award. The overall winner will receive the Best in Show award and be crowned the Young Gardeners of the Year 2016. Plus visitors to the gardens will be able to vote for their favourite to win the People’s Choice Award.
These annual awards offer students a great opportunity to showcase their work and celebrate the best of British young talent in garden design and build. Each college will be given a 5.5m x 4m plot to both plan and design a garden that will demonstrate an understanding of harmony and sustainability. It should also use clever plant combinations and incorporate a sense of proportion and clever use of the important vertical dimension in small, urban gardens and terraces.
The show gardens will inspire visitors with clever ideas they can try at home. This year David is actively encouraging diversity of design and promoting smart use of features such as lighting. The gardens will inspire city dwellers, showing all that can be achieved in urban locations and should create a sense of tranquillity and sustainability for the home owner; it should act as an escape from the pressures of inner city life and bring a touch of nature to the heart of the metropolis.
The Ideal Home Show London will open its doors for 17 days from 18 March – 3 April 2016 at Olympia London.
Pershore College offers a range of horticulture and garden design courses at all levels. For more information go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/pershore.