Lawrence Wright wins young horticulturist of the year

The Grand Final of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016 took place at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin on May 7 where young horticulturists competed to become CIH Young Horticulturist of the Year 2016.

Finalists with Wright back middle
Finalists with Wright back middle

The results were:

Lawrence Wright, South East Branch - Winner
Joshua Stevens, North West and North Wales Branch - Runner-Up
Fern Champney, Eastern Branch - Third Place

Wright, who is studying at RHS Wisley, received the £2,500 Travel Bursary provided by the Percy Thrower Trust and will be able to use it to further his horticultural career anywhere in the world.  

The final took place following the eight regional finals during March.

Andrew Gill CHort, FCIHort, president of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture said: "They are all winners today. We hope that they all continue to work and do well in horticulture and become chartered members of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. I'd like to thank all the competitors for their bravery and knowledge."

Stephen Kynaston, of platinum sponsor the Shropshire Horticulture Society said: "The health of anything in society can be gauged by the enthusiasm and commitment of young people, and so today shows how verdant the horticulture industry is."


Lawrence swept the board with 63 points – 10 points clear of second place.  RHS Garden Harlow Carr student Sally Newbrook came sixth in the contest with RHS Garden Rosemoor Apprentice Miriam Petry taking seventh place in Friday’s (May 7) Grand Final at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin.


The prestigious annual competition attracts over 2000 entrants each year, each vying to prove their depth of horticultural knowledge. And the prize? The Percy Thrower Travel Bursary worth £2,500, generously provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society to fund a horticultural trip anywhere in the world.


Wright said: "It’s not sunk in yet. At one point it got really close. Then when I heard I’d won it was disbelief and then excitement. Because I wasn’t expecting to win I haven’t planned anything so I’m not sure. I’ll spend the next couple of weeks thinking about what I’d like to do."


Garden manager Sheila Das, who is also Wright’s line-manager, said: "The Wisley team are extremely proud of Lawrence and his achievement is well deserved. He has been real asset during his time as a student, and this success brightens his future even more."


RHS students Brendan Arundel and Thomas King also took part.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr head Liz Thwaite said she was "delighted that Sally had done so well within the competition and was proud that an RHS Trainee for Harlow Carr was flying the flagship for the North of England."

RHS Garden Rosemoor head Sally Charleton said: "We are so proud of Miriam who has been a great asset to the Rosemoor curatorial team."

The 2015 YHoY winner Jessica Evans, senior gardener at the National Trust's Tintinhull Gardens in Somerset said: "I am delighted to have won the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 competition and look forward to using the travel bursary to further my training in horticulture. Having finished second in the competition last year, my over-whelming emotion when the final scores were announced was relief, especially as this was the last year I would be eligible to enter. I would now really like to support the running of the competition, and to encourage others to take part, as it is vitally important to celebrate the quality and knowledge of young horticulturists."

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