Alumnus celebrates success in the Great British Gardens competition!

August 2018

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College alumnus Ben Cannell's garden has been judged as one of the best in Great Britain!

Ben, who studied Floristry at Writtle, is a runner up in the Great British Gardens competition, run by the Telegraph newspaper in partnership with Yorkshire Gold tea.

The competition aimed to find 10 outstanding gardens that combined bold and imaginative planting; a bright, fresh approach to garden design; and a good balance between appearance and functionality.

Ben has transformed the 85ft back garden of his end of terrace house in Ware, Hertfordshire, over the last eight years.

The judges – TV gardener Adam Frost, landscape architect Bunny Guinness and Tony Barkataki, a professional tea taster for Yorkshire Gold – commended the effervescence of planting in his garden.

When Ben moved in, there were only shrubs and lawn in the back garden. Using the horticultural and design skills he learnt at Writtle, he has created three distinct areas – a raised terrace for entertaining, a lawn with cottage garden-style borders, and a calm grove of woodland planting.

Ben, who now manages a theatre in Hertford, said: “I’m delighted to be a runner up in the Britain’s Best Garden Competition, not expecting to be placed at all! My work colleagues persuaded me to enter, convincing me my garden is good enough.

“It’s great to have had my garden judged by renowned garden designers, and even better to have received such nice feedback.

“Having studied Floristry at Writtle, it was my time there that opened my eyes to the world of horticulture and gardening and sparked my interest in this area. At Writtle I learnt the principles of design along with horticultural techniques that I have since built upon and put into practice.

“My garden is my happy place. It’s a place to switch off, to be creative, to learn, to entertain in, and to connect with nature and immerse myself in plants.”

The winners of the competition were Christine and Geoffrey Ingham, of Ousden, Suffolk. Ben and the eight other runners up will each receive £100 of Wyevale vouchers and a year’s supply of Yorkshire Gold tea.

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