Final preparations for the Ideal Home Show garden

March 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A team of Further Education horticulture students have been working with Lecturers Ben Wincott and Simon Watkins on a unique garden design for the Ideal Home Show, held at London’s Earl Court Arena for 17 days from 11 -27 March 2011.

The garden has been designed as part of a competition, partly funded by the Prince of Wales’s Foundation for the Built Environment. For the first year the Prince’s Foundation with the Ideal Home Show have developed an exciting partnership to help Britain promote and build better neighborhoods and communities.

In total eight horticultural Colleges’ from around the country have been invited to take part in the competion and will be displaying their ‘organic and sustainable’ gardens from Friday this week. All Colleges’ taking part will be in with the chance of winning the title of ‘Young Gardeners of the Year’.

The brief asked College entrants to create a garden haven from a reclaimed urban area that demonstrates a clever use of space in a 5 x 4.5 meter plot. The brief also asks that the garden applies an understanding of harmony and sustainability, while incorporating a sense of proportion and clever use of the important vertical dimension in small, urban gardens and terraces.

In addition, it has been proposed that the garden should inspire city dwellers, showing just what can be achieved in the most impossible of urban locations, and must hold a sense of tranquility for the home owner, as an escape of the pressures of inner city life and to bring a touch of nature to the heart of the metropolis.

The Writtle College garden design includes garden accessories such as an outdoor pizza oven, a projector, and giant bean bags. The outdoor sink next to the pizza oven will distribute water straight into the garden, and empty ink cartridge packets will be re-used in the garden offering a twist on recycling.

The College has secured additional funding for the garden from Globalstone - an Essex based supplier of natural paving stone – who the College has close links with as suppliers of horticultural teaching products.

Ben Wincott, Lecturer in Horticulture, said: "The College was approached about designing a garden for the Ideal Home Show a while ago and we recognised straight away what a fantastic opportunity this would be for the students and their future careers. A number of my horticulture students are involved in the project and this kind of practical experience really will stand them in good stead after completing their course at Writtle."

All eight of the designed and constructed gardens will be judged by a panel including Diarmuid Gavin, Garden Designer and TV presenter, and garden expert David Domoney during the opening of the show this week.

To find out further information about the Prince’s Foundation and the Ideal Home Show collaboration, please visit