The team behind the Writtle College entry to the ‘Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year 2016’ competition have been busy making the final preparations to their Show Garden which will be unveiled at the Ideal Home Show on Friday 18 March.
The annual competition, which last year saw the Writtle team win Best in Show, a Gold medal and the People’s Choice award, sees six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges go head-to-head, to create stunning sustainable urban gardens, that will be seen by a quarter of a million visitors at the Ideal Home Show.
The event is organised by TV Gardener David Domoney, in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. The Prince’s Foundation sets clear guidelines for the garden design based on organic and sustainable principles and this year there is a new focus on education. The Prince’s Foundation has tasked the Young Gardeners with incorporating elements of an educational garden into the design which should aim to inspire young people to reconnect with nature.
Writtle Lecturers in Horticulture, Ben Wincott and Nigel Beckford, are providing guidance to the team of FE Level 3 Horticulture students who are designing and building this year’s Writtle College entry (Ciaran Randall, Lewis Potter, Lynn Lewin, Fabian Thompson, Louise Wells, Tyler Stamp, Kate Cox, Daniel Shepheard and Declan Byrne).
Ben, who specialises in construction and design and has created several show gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Shows said: “Our design is based on a small urban basement garden retreat, featuring a roof covered with meadow grass and stunning magnolia trees to attract and support wildlife. This natural haven is full of colour to contrast against the greys of London. The living roof will offer the homeowner privacy from people walking past. Natural light is brought into the basement through a light well, illuminating the water feature wall alongside LED lighting.
“The green wall represents a new investigation into producing electricity from plants. It extracts electrons from water and nutrient exchange within plant roots through a carbon fibre mat inbuilt to the growing fabric. On the floor we are using sedum matting as a lawn alternative to absorb rainwater but also tolerate dry spells.”
Nigel Beckford said: “We are very fortunate to have a number of companies supporting us with a variety of materials, based on the strength of our success last year. Working with new materials and products is great for the students and enables us to produce quality show gardens. We would like to thank the following companies for the sponsorship they have given us and can’t wait to start putting their products together in the garden.”
•Collier and Catchpole - Timber framing, boarding and Eco joists
•Global Stone Paving - Porcelain paving and natural stone walling tiles
•Steico - Eco Joists
•Harrowden Turf - Wildflower and Sedum Mat
•Oak View Landscapes - Garden Furniture
•Hartman Outdoor Living UK - Garden Furniture
•Green-Tech - Compost
•Lower Barn Landscape - Bio Ethanol Fire Feature
•Vincent Timber - Chestnut Shakes
•Scotscape - Living Wall and Green Wall fabric panels
•Olivers Plants - Green Wall Plants
•Protek - Woodstain
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 awards. The overall winner will receive the Best in Show award, and visitors will be able to vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.