Lydia wins Gold Medal at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Lydia wins Gold Medal at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Pershore College student Lydia Knight has scooped a prestigious gold medal for her stunning coastal show garden at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.

Lydia Knight, a second year BSc Horticulture student, was competing in the RHS Young Planting Designer 2016 competition which aims to find the best emerging talent from the Landscape and Plant Design arena. Lydia was partnered with a finalist from the Young Landscape Contractor 2016, Ewan Sewell, to create a complete garden at the show.

Each garden was given a different style and soil type to produce either a countryside, coastal or urban focus and the entire garden took two weeks to build, with the planting completed in just four days at the end of the build. Lydia also combined the planning of the garden with her wedding, which took place at the beginning of July.

She said, “Planning the garden alongside a wedding was difficult to say the least, especially since they both fell just after end of year exams! But with Ed’s support and help, it all somehow fell together.

“This was the first garden where I and I alone was responsible for the planting of a show garden and we had to contend with awful weather too. I was very happy with the finished garden, but to be honest it looked nothing like i had planned; when I arrived on site I found that the shapes of the borders had changed and I had to throw any previous plans out of the window and rely purely on instinct, something which I was not sure I trusted yet.

“However my studies at Pershore gave me the confidence to go with my instinct and put all the design principles I had learnt at Pershore into place. I have been exposed to so many different concepts and styles that I realised that design is not about copying someone else’s style, but creating your own, and that as long as you bear in mind the basic design principles, there is no wrong way of planting; if it feels right, it probably is.

“I was surprised and ridiculously pleased to be awarded with a gold medal on my first try at a show garden. I had always thought my plant combinations were something to be hidden in my back garden, not on display to the public, and for the judges to actually like them was just fantastic!

“I definitely feel inspired by the whole experience, and hope to try my hand at my local show in Malvern over the next few years, perhaps with Ed alongside me to help put down the shapes and confer on choice of hard landscape materials, before I fill around them with the plants!”

For more information about horticulture courses at Pershore College , go to

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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