UK Colleges go head-to-head for 'Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year 2012' title

December 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

The 'Ideal Gardeners competition is run in Association with the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.

Channel 5’s TV Gardener, David Domoney, has joined forces with The Prince’s Foundation for a second year to officially launch the 2012 ‘Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year’ competition ahead of the Ideal Home Show’s return to London’s Earls Court next March.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural competition, six UK colleges will once again go head-to-head to create inspirational and sustainable show gardens which will all be exhibited in the forecourt of Earls Court during the 104th Ideal Home Show, which runs from March 16th to April 1st 2011. Last year’s debut gardens, each designed by emerging young talent in the industry, were visited by HRH The Prince of Wales at Earls Court, and Capel Manor College in Middlesex claimed 1st place.

This year the participating colleges will be awarded gold, silver or bronze medals with two further prestigious titles also being awarded for Best At Show & The People’s Choice. This year’s colleges are:

• Askham Byran College, North Yorkshire • Bridgwater College, Somerset • Chichester College, Sussex • Capel Manor, Middlesex • Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire • Writtle College, Essex

Once again the competition will aim to highlight the very best examples of sustainable practice in British garden design amongst student designers. Each college will be given a 5.5m x 4m plot to both plan and design a unique and sustainable garden based on the theme of ‘landcraft techniques in an urban setting.’ A panel industry experts led by Domoney will judge the entries and award the prize medals.

The Prince’s Foundation has set clear guidelines for the competition based on organic and sustainable principles. In addition, each garden should inspire city dwellers, showing just what can be achieved in the most impossible of tight urban locations.

Hank Dittmar, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation comments: “ The importance of green spaces both in urban living and sustainable lifestyle is often overlooked and we are pleased to once again be launching this competition, particularly ahead of the launch of our landscrafts programme later this year. The Prince’s Foundation considers this to be a great start to the crafts programme –giving young people at the start of their careers an opportunity to learn about sustainable garden design and craftsmanship.”

David Domoney, organiser of the competition says: “Last year over a quarter of a million people at the Ideal Home Show got to appreciate the show gardens designed by our young students and this kind of exposure, with support from The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, can prove a great fuel injection in those young people's career paths and help them stand out from the competition when they come to apply for work.”

Each college will be given 1 week to build and plant their garden outside Earls Court ready for the Ideal Home Show opening day on the 16th March 2012. During this time they will be monitored and supported by Domoney in preparation for the judging panel.

Each garden will then be judged at the show on the

16thMarch, by the esteemed panel which includes not only Domoney but award winning garden designer Adam Hunt, who created the edible garden at HRH the Prince of Wales’s START festival at Clarence house in the summer 2010.

Every college that takes part will be in with the chance of winning a show medal with two individual prestigious awards, ‘Best at Show’ and ‘The People’s Choice’ also up for grabs. Over 275,000 people will view their creations over the course of the 2012 London show offering students fantastic exposure and a solid industry platform to build upon.

For more details on the 2012 ‘Ideal Young Gardeners Competition’ and the participating colleges visit

The Ideal Home Show, London will open its doors for 17 days from 16th March – 1st April 2012, at London’s Earls Court. Tickets can be booked online via


Notes: The Ideal Home Show will also be supporting The Soldiers’ Charity for the third year, raising money for the ‘Ideal Homes for Heroes’ campaign which help soldiers, former soldiers and their families remain in their own homes after sustaining injuries in service by providing vital home adaptations.

To date the Ideal Home Show has raised a fantastic £230,000 for the Ideal homes for Heroes Appeal, helping over 152 individuals, families and soldiers of the 29 RLC and the residents of Royal Wimbledon Homes. To meet the growing need, they aim to raise £1million by the end of 2014.

Ideal Home Show The Ideal Home Show, the UK’s biggest and longest running consumer event, was acquired by award-winning events and publishing company Media 10 in 2009 from DMG World Media, the first time the show has changed hands in just over 100 years.

The 2011 Ideal Home Show was a landmark event, attracting over 275,00 visitors across the 17-day event and including a Royal Visit from HRH The Prince of Wales. Follow the Ideal Home Show on Twitter @ideal_home_shpw

The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment

The Prince’s Foundation is an education charity committed to improving the quality of people’s lives through the places they live – their homes, gardens and communities.

The Prince of Wales Heritage Building Craft Apprentices Programme offers young people an opportunity to become master craftspeople in skills such as brickwork, stonemasonry, stained glass and most recently, landcrafts such as dry-stone walling and fence-making. Website: Twitter: @PrincesFound

David Domoney has 26 Royal Horticultural Gardens medal winning gardens, is a Channel 5 presenter and the creator of the ‘Ace of Diamonds Garden’, featuring 20 Million Pounds of jewels.