Sean Murray is Great Chelsea Garden Challenge winning designer

BBC 2's The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge's Sean Murray has won the chance to create a front garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to raise awareness of the concreting over Britain's front garden plots.

Gravel with naturalised planting is favoured in the garden, with hard surfacing kept to a minimum, due to its associated impact on local flooding and rising temperatures.

The RHS briefed Murray to design a front garden for the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, incorporating car parking and plants as part of the charity’s campaign to get Greening Grey Britain.  As seven million front gardens contain concrete and cars rather than flowers and grass, the RHS wanted to showcase a garden, which shared ideas and inspiration to have space to park a car and incorporate plants too. 

As the RHS Great Chelsea Challenge Garden is an RHS garden it will not be judged and comes under the category of ‘garden feature'.

Murray plans to change careers from being a nurse in occupational therapy to become a garden designer.

Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said: "It's wonderful that we've helped one amateur garden designer fulfil his dream to create a garden at the world's most famous gardening event.  But it's even more satisfying that we've helped him kick start a new career that he has always dreamed of, and I hope many others will be inspired too. 

"The BBC2 Great Chelsea Garden Challenge series demonstrated the skill, passion and talent needed to become a Garden Designer and to work in wider horticultural roles. Raising the profile of horticulture is one of our primary charitable aims and we've been delighted to work in partnership with the BBC on this exciting project."

Murray said: "I was truly astonished to win.  It is the best feeling in the world to have your creativity recognised.  Watching the design you have in your mind develop on paper and materialise into a living, breathing garden is an incredible feeling. In the competition, I tried to create an element of storytelling in each garden.  I am excited at the prospect of creating personalised garden spaces for others.  It was a privilege to be part of an exciting, new collaboration between the RHS and the BBC. The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge was a great apprenticeship to prepare me for the challenge ahead. And wow ! It’s a big one."

Philippa O'Brien, chair, Society of Garden Designers, said: "The Society of Garden Designers (SGD) heartily endorses any scheme that helps newcomers into the garden design profession. All of us started off as enthusiastic amateurs at some stage in our careers and what better start than to be mentored through a show garden by two SGD members - Joe Swift  and Anne Marie Powell.  Though the  SGD exists to promote professionalism and has a rigorous adjudication process we welcome new talent to the industry at every level."

Murray is completely self-taught and has no formal garden training. He is also a self-taught flower designer and recently passed his NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) demonstrators test. 

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