Graduate helps launch new orchid collection

May 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A Writtle College graduate has been instrumental in launching a new orchid collection to support student growers.

The David Colegrave Foundation (DCF), the charity for people studying horticulture, has launched the new fundraising collection of Phalaenopsis Orchid. The collection, which offers a distinctive fusion of summer colours and striking markings, will be sold into retailers this summer. Every orchid purchased will help to fund the DCF’s scholarships for students studying horticulture at colleges across the UK.

Jessica Laurent, who graduated from Writtle College last year with a BSc (Hons) Horticulture, was selected for the project along with Victoria Miles, a horticulture student at Bicton College. They had previously demonstrated their passion for orchids through a scholarship application to the DCF. Remembering their interest, DCF offered the duo a bursary giving them the opportunity to join DCF and the Garden Centre Fresh team in the orchid selection.

Jessica, from Chelmsford, said: “Long have I been interested in orchids, so when I was asked to participate with this project, I was extremely excited to be given the opportunity. The collection will be fantastic for the time of launch and different from most Phalaenopsis orchids. I would like to thank the DCF for helping students and young horticulturalists like myself with the work they do and for giving us the opportunity.”

The charity worked with Garden Centre Fresh, which originally approached DCF with the initiative. Brian Redman, of Garden Centre Fresh, said: “We’re delighted that The David Colegrave Foundation Orchid Collection will go on to help students of horticulture. It’s great to be involved in a project that supports our industry and encourages consumers to get involved too.”

Jeff Colegrave, DCF Chairman, said: "What great news, the purchase of plants helping provide more sound advice in the future for their care.”

DCF will be launching the orchids at the HTA National Plant Show which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry on 23/24 June 2015. Visitors can take one home for a voluntary donation which will also help to support DCF scholarships. Visitors can visit the Garden Centre Fresh stand to find out more or place an order.

For more details on The David Colegrave Foundation visit

For more information about Writtle College horticulture courses, please visit