Best in Show, gold and now People’s Choice for Writtle College!

April 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle College has won the People's Choice award in the Young Gardeners of the Year competition, chosen by visitors to this year's Ideal Home Show.

The award means that the College’s team has scooped all three of the top honours in the competition – Best in Show, gold and now the popular vote.

More than 11,500 visitors to the Show at London’s Olympia voted Writtle College's garden to be their favourite out of those created by the six participating colleges.

Simon Watkins, FE Lecturer in Horticulture at Writtle College, who provided guidance to the team of horticulture students who designed and built this year's entry, said: “We're over the moon with the People's Choice award!

“Designing, creating and building a garden that Ideal Home Show visitors judged as their favourite is a great accolade. Knowing that over 11,500 people could see themselves in our garden fills me with pride for all involved in its creation.

“The support of sponsors and the College was invaluable in achieving the high quality of finish. Teamwork was key – a group of talented young students and dedicated staff worked together, using their range of skills and putting in long hours. It has really paid off - we have the treble!

“Roll on the next one; we're already looking for next year's sponsors.”

The annual contest, which is organised by TV gardener David Domoney, offers students a great opportunity to showcase their work and celebrate the best of sustainable British gardening. It is run in association with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community and sees six of the UK's leading horticultural colleges go head-to-head to create a show-stopping sustainable garden.

They had to design and build a garden in a 5.5m x 4m plot in the heart of the Ideal Home Show. Although they could pre-build elements of the design, they had less than four days to assemble the garden.

The brief was reclaimed urban space, with the emphasis on the sustainable use of water and water harvesting.

The team made a 'high end' garden with the aim of showing that you can achieve a slick-looking garden in a small, urban environment at a lower cost, using recycled materials and sustainable methods.

Celebrity horticulturist Alan Titchmarsh, one of the judges, said he was proud to be Writtle College patron after the College was named Best in Show.