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    Writtle team bring English garden right to heart of the city

    A TEAM of students from Writtle College are bringing a “slice of an English national park” to the centre of London.

    Since Monday they have been working to create a garden outside Earls Court ready for the opening of the Ideal Home Show.

    The team will meet a panel of judges, including TV gardeners Diarmuid Gavin and David Domoney, who will decide if their creation should win them the “Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year” title.

    One of the students is Alex New, 35, a former civil servant who has almost completed a National BTEC in horticulture and hopes to go on to study botany at university.

    He said: “We are competing against teams from five other land-based colleges from around the country and we do want to win. We have spent a lot of time planning the garden and this week the real hard work began putting it in situ.

    “The aim is to show what can be achieved in small urban locations. I am more involved in the planting side of things and we have chosen plants and trees that will look at their best during spring months.

    “We wanted to make the design look like we had taken a slice of an English national park and put it in the city.

    “We selected ferns to make the garden look like it had been there for a while and chose small garden trees, including a cherry and a cercis, in the hope that it will flower during the competition.”

    The competition is backed by The Prince’s Foundation, which sets clear guidelines based on organic and sustainable principles.

    Last year, Prince Charles dropped in and viewed all the gardens.

    More than 275,000 people will view the gardens during the course of the London show, which runs until April 1.

    Visit www.idealhomeshow.co.uk  for more details.

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