Silver Award for Writtle College at the Young Gardeners of the Year

March 2016

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle College has won a Silver medal in the Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year competition at the Ideal Home Show 2016. This achievement follows on from last year’s success, which saw the Writtle team win Best in Show, a Gold medal and the People’s Choice award.

Writtle College Lecturer in Horticulture, Ben Wincott, with support from fellow lecturer, Nigel Beckford, provided guidance to the team of Further Education Horticulture students who designed and built this year’s garden (Ciaran Randall, Lewis Potter, Lynn Lewin, Fabian Thompson, Louise Wells, Tyler Stamp, Kate Cox, Daniel Shepheard and Declan Byrne).

The annual awards, which are organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community, celebrates young ‘green’ talent with stunning show gardens. Students from six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges go head-to-head to create a show stopping sustainable garden at the Ideal Home Show, built in just six days! The gardens are then judged by a panel of industry experts, and students from the winning college are crowned the Young Gardeners of the Year 2016.

The Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year competition offer students a great opportunity to showcase their work and celebrate the best of sustainable British gardening. The competition, now in its sixth year, has given over 500 students the chance to create show gardens before they even leave the college gates.

Each college was given a 5.5m x 4m plot to both plan and design a garden that demonstrated an understanding of harmony and sustainability. The show gardens are meant to inspire city dwellers, showing all that can be achieved in urban locations. They create a sense of tranquillity and sustainability for homeowners to act as an escape from the pressures of inner city life and bring a touch of nature to the heart of the metropolis.

The Writtle team’s garden is based on a small urban basement garden retreat, featuring a living roof covered with meadow grass and stunning magnolia trees to attract and support wildlife. Its green wall represents an exciting new investigation into producing electricity from plants by extracting electrons from water and nutrient exchange within plant roots through a carbon fibre mat inbuilt to the growing fabric.

Nigel Beckford said: “I feel very proud that we have yet again won an award at the show. The students worked extremely hard and they should be very proud of themselves to have such an accolade on their CVs. The experience and insight they have gained in this aspect of Garden Design is invaluable.”

The judging panel included leading lights of the horticultural, design and media industries, including TV Gardener and Writtle Patron, Alan Titchmarsh, Simon Sadinsky from The Prince's Foundation for Building Community, Carol Paris, Chief Executive of the Horticultural Trades Association and Deborah Stone, former Chairman of the Garden Media Guild.

And the awards are not over yet! Visitors to the Ideal Home Show can vote for their favourite garden to win the coveted People’s Choice award. Tokens are provided by the gardens for members of the public to vote.

David Domoney, organiser of the competition, said: "I’m immensely proud to see these incredible show gardens created by these young garden designers and landscape stars of the future. The careful planning, hard work and effort that goes into each of the show gardens is truly inspiring.”

Simon Sadinsky, Head of Education at The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, said: “Nurturing the talent of future generations is important to The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. We are delighted by the talent on display this year and hopefully it will inspire many more people to think about nature, even in the shape of the simplest back garden, can teach us”. Carol Paris, Chief Executive of the Horticultural Trades Association said: “Standard of the gardens this year is the highest ever and show the wealth of British new talent in the garden industry today.”

We would like to thank all our suppliers for supporting the Writtle team this year: Collier and Catchpole, Oak View Landscapes, Hartman, Green-Tech, Global Stone, Harrowden Turf, Lower Barn Landscaping and Building, Vincent Timber, Scotscape Landscaping Ltd, Oliver’s Plants and Protek Wood Stain.

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