The annual competition is in its 6th year, and is organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
The competition sees six horticulture colleges competing to create urban show gardens, built in one week. The finished gardens will be seen at the Ideal Home Show in March and the winners will be crowned the Young Gardeners of the Year 2016.
The competition launch day began with introductions and presentations from TV gardener and event organiser David Domoney; Lee Newton, CEO of Media 10, the organisers of the Ideal Home Show; Simon Sadinsky from The Prince’s Foundation; Dr Stephen Millam from Chichester College and Ben Wincott from Writtle College.
The Prince’s Foundation have tasked the Young Gardeners with incorporating elements of an educational garden into the design. It should aim to inspire young people to reconnect with nature.
Sadinsky, The Prince’s Foundation’s Head of Education, said: "This year, our vision is to see gardens that are not only visually appealing, but that can also act as a source of learning on a diversity of issues, such as health and nutrition, sustainability, biodiversity or art and science. We want to see spaces that encourage young people to engage with nature, so that they feel the natural world is as important as it is beautiful, and a valuable resource to be protected.
"We are inviting the Young Gardeners to demonstrate the educational value of nature to encourage the interest of future generations in the natural environment and contribute to the creation of beautiful, sustainable places."
The 2016 participating colleges are:
Chichester College, Sussex (2012, 2013 & 2014 Champions)
Capel Manor, Middlesex (2011 Champions)
Askham Bryan College, North Yorkshire
Pershore College, Part of the Warwickshire College Group
Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire
Writtle College, Essex (2015 Champions)
David Domoney, organiser of the competition, said: "Through my association with HRH The Prince of Wales and the Prince’s Foundation for the Building Community.
"To date, we have given over 500 garden landscaping and design students the opportunity to build show gardens at a national event before they even leave the college gates. These young garden designers and landscape stars of the future are encouraged to use sustainable practices, which they will confidentially pass on through generations. Even in it’s sixth year, we still continue to grow young hopefuls pitching their skills against rival colleges for the title of Young Gardeners of the Year."