Six colleges go for gold in Ideal Home show garden competition

Students from six horticultural colleges will battle it out to be named Young Gardeners of the Year at the Ideal Home Show 2014.

The teams from Askham Bryan College in North Yorkshire, Bridgewater College, Somerset, Capel Manor College in London, Chichester College in Sussex, Shuttleworth College in Bedfordshire and Writtle College in Essex have designed 5.5m by 4m sustainable show gardens for the March show, with a theme of reclaimed urban space and the brief that the designs should inspire city dwellers.

Writtle College, which won silver last year, has a team of 14 who, with the help of lecturer and RHS Chelsea Flower Show veteran Ben Wincott, are hoping to scoop a gold this year. A core team of six students will construct the garden in a week at the show in Earls Court, London.

The show is expected to attract a quarter of a million people between 14 and 30 March.

Wincott said: "This is a really exciting project that has filled the students with enthusiasm. They have been developing their ideas and the design over the last few weeks and I think it will be inspiring, thought provoking and a showcase of what they can achieve.

"We want to create a fun garden – a design that will be enjoyable to build as well as, hopefully, an award winner."

The team is looking at a public house theme and wants to include a piano in the design.

The competition aims to showcase Britain's young talented gardeners. The colleges will be awarded gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medals with two further titles also being awarded for Best At Show and People's Choice.

Entrants have to follow the organic and sustainable principles promoted by the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, the competition’s organisers.

The judging panel is made up of TV gardeners David Domoney and Diarmuid Gavin, the managing director of John Woods, the editor of House Beautiful magazine and representatives from the Prince’s Foundation and the Institute of Horticulture. 

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