BBC and RHS launch Hampton Court garden design competition

The RHS and the BBC are calling for aspiring garden designers in England to design a 'Feel Good Front Garden' for the world's largest annual flower show.

Ann-Marie Powell's gold-winning Hampton Court 2015 Macmillan Legacy Garden. Image: RHS
Ann-Marie Powell's gold-winning Hampton Court 2015 Macmillan Legacy Garden. Image: RHS

The competition launched today gives four BBC local radio listeners the chance to design a garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016 (5 – 10 July).

Amateur gardeners and aspiring garden designers in England, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man can create and submit a front-garden design that celebrates their local community and highlights the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening. Four of the best designs will go on to be built at the world-famous flower show in July.

The competition brief explains: "England has 39 BBC Local Radio stations which have been an integral part and voice of communities in the regions for nearly 50 years. To reflect this, entrants should look to tie in a link to their BBC region or local area in some way, taking inspiration for example from the local heritage, buildings, foods, people, plants or another aspect of local life."

Entrants should also consider the health and wellbeing theme in their designs. This aspect of the challenge reflects the RHS' Greening Grey Britain campaign, which this year is raising awareness of the positive impact of gardening on people's health and happeniess.

As well as having their garden created for exhibition at the show, the four winners will be able to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, meeting landscape designers Ann-Marie Powell and James Alexander-Sinclair. Ann-Marie and James will be on hand offering guidance and running a plant master class to the four finalists in the lead-up to Hampton Court.

Show manager Dave Green said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for someone passionate about gardening and design to see their vision come to life and get a glimpse into the world of garden design, gaining expert advice and hands-on experience. I am very excited to see what the BBC Local Radio listeners come up with."

The closing date for entry is noon on 26 February. Judges will select the four best designs from around the UK and will consider: how well the garden interprets the theme; how interesting and creative the design is; the effective use of plants; how well the design has considered sustainability issues; and how realistic the design is within a small budget.

Information on how to enter the competition is available at

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