Silver award for Writtle College's Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year 2012

March 2012

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Urbana tranquillitas, the garden designed and built by a team of eight horticultural students at Writtle College, won today a silver award in the Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year 2012 competition. In an official ceremony at Earls Court, London, HRH The Prince of Wales spoke to students from Writtle College about their garden design and the unique planting that complemented it.

The design and planting justification next to the Writtle College exhibit described the garden as: "Our design aims to bring the tranquillity of the countryside's natural landscapes into the city. Into this design we have incorporated a combination of traditional land craft techniques like dry stone walling and willow weaving and given them a modern twist. Both are quintessential elements of pastoral Britain and we have complimented them with a mixture of native plants and other ferns, grasses, herbaceous examples and specimen trees. With a simple colour scheme of red, white, yellow, violet and green we will create a scene of soft, natural harmony inspired by indigenous countryside in order to provide a haven within the inner city that will link not only to the environment outside the city but reach back through the years to our rural traditions and heritage."

David Domoney, garden expert and competition organiser stated: "The quality of gardens this year has been fantastic - over a quarter of a million people entering the Ideal Home Show will be taking inspiration from your gardens." David later went on to announce the outcome of the judging panel and awarded the Writtle College garden an honourable silver award.

Upon receiving the award, and on behalf of the eight strong Writtle College team, Jack Conway, Horticulture student from Chelmsford, said: "It is brilliant that we received a silver award, especially since it was the first time for all of us to be at this show. The construction of the garden went up in just two days which we were very proud of. I mainly worked on the stonework part of the build, but we all chipped in on the garden design."

Alex New, from Billericay, was more involved in the planting side of the garden which took longer to perfect, he commented: "We chose plants and trees that we knew would look at their best during the Spring months. We wanted to make it look like we had a taken a slice of an English National park and put it into the city. We are really, really pleased to have won this award. It goes to show that all our hard work has paid off, and everyone has really enjoyed their time at the competition."

The College secured substantial 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. Globalstone provided the essential materials to build the dry stone wall.

In total six horticultural Colleges' from around the country took part in the competition. Alongside Writtle College's entry were gardens from: Askham Bryan College, Bridgwater College, Chichester College, Capel Manor and Shuttleworth College. Chichester won the title of 'Best in Show' and received a gold award for their garden. The panel of judges included Diarmuid Gavin, Garden Designer and TV presenter, and garden expert David Domoney. One further title which is yet to be awarded is 'The People's Choice' award.

Over 275,000 people will view the gardens during the course of the London show, offering students fantastic exposure and a solid industry platform for the students to build on.

The Writtle College exhibit will be on display on the forecourt entrance to Earls Court during The Ideal Home Show which will is open now until 1 April 2012.


Pictured: David Domoney (left) pictured with the team of Writtle College students and Julian from Globalstone (right) in front of the Writtle College exhibit

Info on Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year

The garden has been designed as part the 'Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year' competition 2012, partly funded by the Prince of Wales's Foundation for the Built Environment, to show how to build a sustainable garden and to highlight best practice in British garden design amongst student designers.

For the second year running the Prince's Foundation with the Ideal Home Show joined forces to create an exciting partnership to help Britain promote and build better neighborhoods and communities. The garden design brief given to the students asked them to create a garden of 'land craft techniques in an urban setting'.

The Prince's Foundation set clear guidelines based on organic and sustainable principles. The gardens should inspire city dwellers and show what can be achieved in small urban locations.

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