A team of FE horticulture students at Writtle College is preparing their design for the Young Gardeners of the Year competition at the Ideal Home Show 2014.
Writtle College is going head-to-head with five other colleges in the UK for the title. The team of 14, with their lecturer Ben Wincott, are designing and constructing a 5.5m by 4m sustainable garden to inspire city dwellers, which will be seen by a quarter of a million people during the show in March.
Six students at a time will construct the garden from scratch within a matter of days inside the show in Earls Court, London.
Ben, lecturer and course manager for FE Horticulture, who specialises in construction and design, has designed several show gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Shows.
He said: “This is a really exciting project that has filled the students with enthusiasm; they have been developing their ideas and the design over the last few weeks and I think it will be inspiring, thought provoking and a showcase of what they can achieve.
“We want to create a fun garden – a design that will be enjoyable to build as well as, hopefully, an award winner.
“The theme is reclaimed urban space and we are looking at the theme of a pub, including a piano with a twist and a structure that has been taken over and adapted by nature.”
The competition aims to showcase Britain's premier young talented gardeners. The colleges will be awarded gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medals with two further prestigious titles also being awarded for Best At Show and People's Choice.
With this year's theme being sustainable urban gardens, the colleges will have to follow the organic and sustainable principles promoted by the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, the competition’s organisers.
Each college has been asked to submit their garden designs before today, 15 January. They then have one week ahead of the show to build their urban green spaces.
The judging panel is made up of TV gardeners David Domoney and Diarmuid Gavin, the MD of John Woods, the editor of House Beautiful magazine as well as representatives from the Prince’s Foundation and the Institute of Horticulture.
David said: “It is such a privilege creating this competition for the young landscapers and designers as they showcase their work for the first time. The amount of hard work that goes into these gardens is truly inspiring and I can't wait to see the effort these colleges put in for the grand reveal at the Ideal Home Show 2014 – it's likely to be our most memorable yet."