Wyevale East Nurseries is using next week's RHS Plant & Design Show to launch its student design-and-build award.
The winner of the award, in its third year, will build their creation in the small-garden category at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2013. Wyevale East Nurseries senior director Richard McKenna said it was a fantastic career gambit for youngsters.
"Charlotte Murrell won our first award and went on to take a Silver Gilt Medal at Hampton Court," he said. "It proved a good, strong launch for her career - she's won commissions and it's been fantastic for her."
He added: "We run this event primarily because educating the next generation is paramount to the future of our business and the standards within it. It's good to give the next generation support and guidance."
Wyevale East Nurseries pays £5,000 towards plants for the winning garden and the competition is open to students of horticulture and design at national diploma level or above. The deadline for entries is the end of August.
The RHS Plant & Design Show on 14-15 February is billed by the society as a kick-start to the flower show year. It will draw together designers and exhibitors at the RHS Lawrence Hall in south-west London to show off plants and products on stands and under a floral marquee.
McKenna said the competition was a good fit with the show, which shows off winter and early-spring colour and offers an opportunity for leading nurserymen to meet.
Exhibitors this year include Ashwood Nurseries, Bentley Plants, Avon Bulbs and Broadleigh Gardens. Professional groups such as the Association of Professional Landscapers, English Gardening School and organiser the RHS will also have stands.
The society is using the show to highlight last year's RHS Young Designer of the Year finalists Alexandra Froggatt and Own Morgan, who will stage gardens to show how you can transform a neglected alleyway into a green space.
The Society of Garden Designers, meanwhile, will be running a design clinic where visitors can fire questions to experts about the designs on display.
Charlotte Murrell, Charlotte Murrell Garden Design
"The Wyevale competition was essential to me. I would not have had the confidence to leap into design straight after graduating without that experience. Fantastic press coverage from the Hampton Court Palace show also helped enormously."