Theme revealed at Ideal Home Show Young Gardeners competition

The Young Gardeners of the Year competition has opted for the theme of reclaimed urban space for the second year in a row.

The Writtle team's design
The Writtle team's design

This year the theme has an emphasis on the sustainable use of water and water harvesting.

Writtle College, Chichester College, Capel Manor, Askham Byran College, Pershore College and Shuttleworth College will compete to build a garden in a 5.5m x 4m plot at the Ideal Home Show from 20 March to 6 April at Olympia London, Kensington.

Writtle has released the design its team will build when it goes up against the other colleges (pictured).

Lecturer Ben Wincott who specialises in construction and design is working with colleague Simon Watkins on the project.

Wincott said: "This year’s team has been using Pinterest to bring together their ideas and we are fortunate to have a huge facility here so we can build in advance elements of the garden and then put it together like a construction kit.

"The team have come up with some great ideas around the water harvesting and we are looking at having a tank of water in the garden that will become a feature flowing down and running through a curving rill, with pipes going out that could irrigate the garden.

"Last year our garden was based on the concept of a pub overrun and adapted by nature. It was quite an eccentric, fun take on the brief. This year, we’re making a garden that is more ‘high end’ with the aim of showing that you can achieve a slick-looking garden in a small, urban environment at a lower cost, using recycled materials and sustainable methods."

Many of the plants are recycled from last year and include drought-resistant asplenium fern, stipa grass as well as geraniums, a pink rose and an evergreen jasmine.

Second year Level 3 student Rob Band has recently been planting trays of Mind Your Own Business covered in netting so that they can be used as ‘bricks’ on the walls of the structure, which will be primarily made of millboard.

He said: "Entering this competition is giving us brilliant, practical experience of building gardens, planting and the design process."

The competition, organised by TV gardener David Domoney to showcase young horticultural talent and run in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, was launched in November.

Chichester College have won the Best in Show award at the competition last year. It, Writtle and Capel Manor all won gold medals.  

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