This year’s gardens, centred on a design created by 2016 Young Designer winner Caitlin McLaughlin, celebrates the theme of coastal and urban. Ewan Sewell was young contractor of the year in 2016.
‘Chaos to Coastline’, a gold-winning garden built by Hood, who partnered with Poulter, impressed judges by providing a functional social space, whilst an innovative water feature, multiple levels and sharp lines contrasted magnificently with a free-flowing planting scheme.
Young Landscape Contractor Karl Crowe and partner Giulio Passarelli’s bronze-winning ‘Let ‘em Grow Urban Retreat’ garden brought together minimalistic intervention and plant management to reinforce the message that any neglected urban site can be improved by adding rich vegetation to any space, including between pavers and cracks in the wall.
The last of the three show gardens was built by Young Landscape Contractor Josh Mcdonnell alongside Anna Rhodes created ‘Arrange: Rearrange Countryside Retreat’ show garden that also pleased judges with its explorative understanding of harvesting plants that celebrates the cycle of growing, cutting, displaying and reproduction.
Sponsor BALI chief executive Wayne Grills said: "Following a magnificent inaugural event for the competition in 2016, this year’s finalists have proven once again that Young Landscape Contractor and Young Planting Designer professionals have truly got what it takes to compete in the big leagues, winning medals at one of the RHS’s flagship shows. BALI is immensely proud of what they have achieved as partners and as a team and we congratulate them all."
Young designer winner was Ula Maria Bujauskaite, 24, from Northampton who has designed an outdoor take on contemporary hot-desking.
Returning for its ninth year, the competition’s theme was inspired by ever increasing working hours.
She said: "I’m so happy and incredibly proud to have taken part in this competition. It has been such an exciting and inspirational experience to have the opportunity to do what you really love. I still can’t believe it and I’m so thankful to everyone who helped with the garden."
Other finalists were Anca Panait, 27, from Glasgow, has created a working environment connecting the standard office with the outdoors to provide a space for observation and for privacy.
Jake Curley, 25, designed a garden inspired by New York's rooftops and the High Line, creating a functional office space in a natural setting.
Best Show Garden was United Utilities Slow the Flow garden designed by John Everiss Design Ltd & Francesca Murrell.
Best Back to Back Garden was Macmillan Legacy Garden designed by Lara Behr.
Best Future Spaces Garden and Best Construction Award went to Cactus Direct: 2101, designed by Michael McGarr and built by Warnes-McGarr.
Best Exhibit in the RHS Floral Marquee was Holden Clough Nursery.
Hulton’s Landscapes, who won Best in Show last year, worked with Planit-IE, Reaseheath and show sponsors Bruntwood to create their special show feature garden, The Bruntwood Experience.
Ground Control’s ‘Studio Unwired’ Young Designer Garden picked up a gold medal.
The show is open until 23 July.