Young Ideal-ists: Capel Manor student grabs gold in gardening contest

Horticultural flair: the winning gardeners

Horticultural flair: the winning gardeners

Student Ollie Neaves has won a gold medal at the 2017 Ideal Home Show. Neaves, who is enrolled in Capel Manor’s Garden Design programme, bagged the award for his design of a front garden as part of the Young Gardeners of the Year competition at the annual design extravaganza.

The idea of the front garden competition is to create a garden, front door and a path to inspire homeowners and passers-by.

Neaves’s winning design ‘Garden Without a Boundary’ is intended to draw viewers through the garden on a journey to the front door, illustrating how a garden can brighten up a home and neighbourhood.

Neaves said: “I’m so proud to have been given the opportunity to produce an amazing garden design and installation for Capel with the assistance of the great team of horticulture and landscaping students.

“We are all so pleased with the end result and seeing my garden design come to life from initial design proposals, through to detailed construction drawings and management of the build team.  It’s been a great challenge for us all but the results speak for themselves – a well-deserved GOLD Medal for the whole team!”

Gold standard: the winning garden

Gold standard: the winning garden

Zephaniah Lindo, the horticulture lecturer leading the student team beamed in pride at his group’s accomplishments: “The students worked really well as a team, they overcame some tough problems and finished the garden to a very high standard. The garden attracted a lot of attention from the other colleges and organisers and it was said that it raised the standard for future entrants. On the opening day the team was eager to interact with the judges, public and press and they found the whole experience very rewarding.”

The Young Gardeners of the Year competition, now in its seventh year, offers students the opportunity to showcase their work and celebrate the best of young British talent in garden design and construction.

The award is organised by TV gardener David Domoney in association with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. This year’s Show Gardens were judged by an expert panel, including horticultural industry leaders, home and garden magazine editors and acclaimed garden designers.

Domoney said of this year’s competition: “I’m immensely proud to work with HRH The Prince of Wales and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and to date we have given over 500 garden landscaping and design students the opportunity to build show gardens at a national event before they even leave the college gates.”

Capel Manor College, who have worked with Hackney City Farm as part of their outdoorsy programmes, offer a variety of degrees in horticulture, arboriculture, floristry, landscaping and garden design.