Talented students from Shuttleworth College will have just five days to create a show garden at the Ideal Home Show.
The 2017 Young Gardener of the Year Awards, in association with TV gardener David Domoney and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, were launched before Christmas and ahead of the show returning to Olympia in March.
This year the focus is on front gardens and the students, competing alongside five other colleges, are being challenged to create a show garden on a 5.5m x 4m plot that will capture the imagination and inspire the judges and visitors, with clever plant association.
The gardens will hope to inspire city dwellers, showing all that can be achieved in urban locations, creating a sense of tranquillity and sustainability for the home owner and act as an escape from the pressures of inner city life.
The 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 to win 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.
Simon Sadinsky, The Prince’s Foundation’s Young Heritage Apprenticeship Co-ordinator, 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, 4.5 million 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.”
The students were asked to submit their garden designs before the beginning of February, and then have five days to build and plant their garden inside Kensington Olympia ready for the Ideal Home Show opening day on March 24.
The Ideal Home Show London will open until April 9 and tickets can be booked online at www.idealhomeshow.co.uk