Writtle College students to man showcase Chelsea exhibit

A team of young people - including Writtle College students - will run the largest exhibit in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show's Great Pavilion.

Writtle students, L-R: Hamish Porteous, Michelle Fisher, Ben Francis, Melissa Jade Griffiths, William Innes-Taylor
Writtle students, L-R: Hamish Porteous, Michelle Fisher, Ben Francis, Melissa Jade Griffiths, William Innes-Taylor
The inaugural Young Hillier Day on May 22 is the brainchild of staff at the 150-year-old Hillier Nurseries and aims to showcase horticultural careers and what horticulture offers young people.

A team of 14 Hillier staff, trainees and apprentices, along with Writtle College students, will take over the Great Pavilion’s showcase exhibit.

From 8am to 8pm, the younger generation will be managing the exhibit, fielding gardening queries from show visitors, maintaining the plant material and sharing information and advice with gardeners.

They will also help to stage the 24x24m Hillier exhibit, a series of interlinking gardens on the theme of ‘Crossing Continents’. Hillier is chasing its record 70th consecutive RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal.

Hillier Garden Centre director Chris Francis said he hoped the students would see horticulture was fun, exciting and full of opportunities.

"Many youngsters often tell me their perception of horticulture is one of a subject that is full of stuffy, boring older people who speak in a strange language and appear to talk down to those who may have less knowledge and experience.

"Of course, as you get to know most of these people you see that is far from the truth, and many have an amazing passion for the subject, but it is important for the future of our industry that we change our image and younger people see how diverse and exciting the horticultural industry is."

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