The 2018 ‘Young Gardeners of the Year’ competition was launched yesterday at Ascot Racecourse, ahead of the build of the gardens at the brand-new Ascot Spring Garden Show this April.
The annual competition, now in its eighth year, is organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. It celebrates young British ‘green’ talent and sees six of the UK’s leading horticultural colleges go head-to-head to create show-stopping, sustainable gardens that will be seen by thousands of visitors at the show.
The launch kicked off with an introduction by TV gardener and event organiser, David Domoney. It was followed by an outline of the project by David who briefed the participating colleges on the objectives of the competition and provided handy hints and tips. There was also a presentation from Aaron Davis, associate design director at The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, outlining the principles and the brief for this year’s show.
The Prince’s Foundation sets clear guidelines based on organic and sustainable principles and the importance of gardens. The Young Gardeners are tasked with creating a show garden that will capture the imagination and inspire the judges and visitors, using clever plant association and design techniques.
Simon Sadinsky, head of education at The Prince’s Foundation’s said: “We are thrilled to have once again helped launch the Young Gardeners of the Year competition with David Domoney and some of the country’s most enthusiastic young gardeners. As in past years, this year we are asking participants to provide a particular focus within their gardens on the principles of sustainability, paying attention to issues such as the use of local, natural materials and the implementation of SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems). The creativity of past years has shown us that no matter how small the space, we can all incorporate natural environments into our busy urban lives and we are greatly looking forward to seeing what is produced this year.”
This year’s Young Gardeners of the Year gardens will be judged by an expert panel, which includes horticultural industry leaders, home and garden magazine editors, and acclaimed garden designers and landscapers. Entrants will compete to win gold, silver gilt, silver, or bronze awards. The overall winner will receive the Best in Show trophy, and visitors will be able to vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
The 2018 participating colleges are:
- Capel Manor, Middlesex
- Pershore College, Part of the Warwickshire College Group
- Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire
- Writtle University College, Essex (2017 champions)
- Myerscough College, Lancashire
- Reaseheath College, Cheshire
These annual awards celebrate the best of young British talent in garden design and build, and offer students a great opportunity to showcase their work to a national audience. Each college is being given a 5m x 4.5m plot.
The garden style can be traditional or contemporary, and must be a focal point to inspire homeowners and passers-by on just what can be achieved in a small urban space. The garden should appeal to the homeowner’s senses; the colours and design should offer a spectacular welcome when they come home, and aim to brighten up the home owners’ life.
The gardens will inspire city dwellers, showing all that can be achieved in urban locations. Creating a sense of tranquillity and sustainability for the home owner. Each garden should act as an escape from the pressures of inner city life and bring a touch of nature to the heart of the metropolis.
David Domoney, organiser of the competition, said: “To date we have given more than 600 garden landscaping and design students the opportunity to build 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 Best Young Gardeners of the Year, and with this year’s focus on back gardens, I can’t wait to see them come to life.
“Each college is being asked to submit their garden design before the beginning of February. At Ascot they will have five days to build and plant their gardens in the Garden Terrace on Ascot’s Grandstand ready for the Show’s opening day on 13 April 2018.”
Each garden will then be judged by an esteemed panel of ambassadors and curators.
The Ascot Spring Garden Show opens from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 April. Tickets are on sale now and can be booked via www.ascot.co.uk/gardenshow