Chichester College students have been tasked with creating a show garden that will capture the imagination.
They are competing in the Young Gardener of the Year Awards competition, which has put the focus on front gardens this year.
Horticulture students from the Brinsbury Campus will have to use clever plant association to inspire the judges and visitors to The Ideal Home Show at Olympia London from March 24 to April 9.
The annual competition, now in its seventh year, is organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. Chichester, one of the leading horticultural colleges, was the champion in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Simon Sadinsky, Young Heritage Apprenticeship co-ordinator for the Prince’s Foundation, said: “This year, we want to see designs that will inspire homeowners to bring back colour and life to the street, and that really sell the benefits of nurturing this space.
“In the past decade alone, 4.5million more front gardens have been concreted over. We know this has severe environmental impacts, from flash flooding to declining wildlife.
“As a nod to this, we’ve asked competitors to incorporate harmony and sustainability into their design. We’re also looking for gardens that demonstrate a smart use of space – a way of showing homeowners you can still have storage space for household items, like the wheelie bins each garden will be tasked with housing.”
Chichester will be competing against Capel Manor in Middlesex, Pershore College in Warwickshire, Shuttleworth College in Bedfordshire, Writtle University College in Essex and last year’s champions, Askham Bryan College in North Yorkshire.
The Prince’s Foundation sets clear guidelines based on organic and sustainable principles and the importance of front gardens.
The show gardens will be judged by an expert panel, which includes horticultural industry leaders, home and garden magazine editors and acclaimed garden designers. Entrants will compete for the gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze award. The overall winner will receive the Best in Show award and visitors will be able to vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
Mr Domoney said: “To date, we have given more than 500 garden landscaping and design students the opportunity to build show gardens at a national event before they even leave the college gates.
“It’s always a great privilege to see great British talent come together to compete for the title of Young Gardeners of the Year, and with this year’s focus on front gardens, I can’t wait to see them come to life.”
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