The 2017 ‘Young Gardener of the Year’ competition launched ahead of the show returning to Olympia London in March 2017.
The annual competition is now in its seventh year and is organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. Ssix horticultural colleges will compete to build a show garden at the Ideal Home Show.
This year the focus is front gardens.
Simon Sadinsky, The Prince’s Foundation’s education head, said: "This year, we want to see designs that will inspire homeowners to bring back colour and life to the street, and that really sell the benefits of nurturing this space. In the past decade alone, 4.5 million more front gardens have been concreted over.
"We know this has severe environmental impacts, from flash flooding to declining wildlife. As a nod to this, we’ve asked competitors to incorporate harmony and sustainability into their design.
"We’re also looking for gardens that demonstrate a smart use of space – a way of showing homeowners you can still have storage space for household items, like the wheelie bins each garden will be tasked with housing."
The 2017 participating colleges are:
Chichester college, Sussex (2012, 2013, 2014 Champions)
Capel Manor, Middlesex (2011 Champions)
Askham Bryan College, North Yorkshire (2016 Champions)
Pershore College, Part of the Warwickshire College Group
Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire
Writtle University College, Essex (2015 Champions)
Each college will be given a 5.5m x 4m plot.
Domoney said: "To date we have given more than 500 garden landscaping and design students the opportunity to build show gardens at a national event before they even leave the college gates. It’s always a great privilege to see Great British talent come together to compete for the title of Young Gardeners of the Year, and with this year’s focus on front gardens, I can’t wait to see them come to life."
Each college will be asked to submit their garden designs before the beginning of February, when they will then have five days to build and plant their garden inside Kensington Olympia ready for the Ideal Home Show opening day on 24 March 2016.
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