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Youth at the cutting edge of design at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Young Designer Competition enters into its ninth year in 2017, continuing to inspire a hub of young horticultural talent at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (19 – 23 July), supported by Bruntwood.

The competition gives aspiring garden designers aged 28 years and under the chance to launch their careers, gain exposure at a prestigious RHS Flower Show and compete for the coveted title. Inspired by ever increasing working hours and the creative and mindful benefits of green spaces, this year three finalists have been selected to design a Show Garden demonstrating what the fusion of garden and office means to them.
Anca Panait, 27 from Glasgow, has created a working environment connecting the standard office with the outdoors to provide a space for observation and for privacy. The woodland style planting of Prospect & Refuge echoes this by offering enclosure and escape from the outside world, as height variations act as a buffer from city noise, allowing for quiet, undisturbed work.

25 -year-old London-based Jake Curley’s Business & Pleasure garden is inspired by the highline and New York rooftops typical of urban environments. Designed as a functional office space within a natural setting, the garden aims to enhance creativity and happiness throughout the working day. A long meeting table looking out over spectacular views illustrates the juxtaposition of the space and its use.
Our third finalist, Ula Maria, 24 from Northampton has designed Studio Unwired, an outdoor take on contemporary hot-desking. Providing a tranquil and rustic environment, the garden is intended to transport workers out of their crowded and conventional offices into earthy, natural surroundings. This city office theme is also reflected in the distinct working spaces which vary between desks and informal seating areas, interspersed between gnarled pine trees.

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park has become synonymous with budding new talent. Previous finalists have gone on to design at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, including Hugo Bugg, Sam Ovens, and last years’ winner Caitlin McLaughlin, who will be working with multi-award winning designer Sarah Eberle on an exhibit for nursery giant Hilliers at this year’s world-famous flower show in May.
Each designer has begun planning their gardens with expert mentorship, advice and support from established garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes, using a grant of £12,000 to bring their designs to life.
Paul Hervey-Brookes said: “The RHS Young Designer competition has produced some amazing designs and kick-started the careers of some very talented individuals. It’s a vital platform for inspiring more young people to get involved in horticulture, which is something that’s really important to the show and to me. I am delighted to return as mentor for this year’s finalists.”

In addition to designing their own Show Garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, the finalists will also work together to build a Pocket Park at the RHS London Spring Plant & Orchid Show (29 – 30 March) in Westminster. The Pocket Park is inspired by the RHS’ Greening Grey Britain campaign and will be a wildlife-friendly hub of greenery in which visitors are welcome to rest their feet whilst enjoying the London Show.
RHS Tatton Park also plays host to another RHS Young Talent competition launched in 2016, The RHS Young Planting Designer and RHS Landscape Contractor (supported by BALI). The application deadline date is 1 March.

Tickets are now available for the 2017 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park on 19 – 23 July.

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