Could Lucas be the next Alan Titchmarsh?
14 July 2012
An 11-year-old Suffolk schoolboy has been named as the first RHS Young Gardener of the Year 2012.
Lucas Hatch, from St Mary’s CEVA Primary School in Woodbridge, Suffolk, was named as overall winner of the competition, held for the first time this year.
Lucas was one of 16 school gardeners shortlised for the final, after a preliminary round in which school teachers nominated pupils for the competition. Each of the finalists' schools were given a camcorder and a list of questions for the pupil to answer in a short film about themselves. A panel of judges, including TV gardener David Domoney, RHS Curator Elizabeth Balmforth and The Sun’s Gardening Editor Peter Seabrook were very impressed by Lucas’s application when assessing the final selection.
'Lucas really demonstrated his excellent gardening skills in his video,' said the judges. 'His dedication showed through as he looks after the school garden in the holidays. Gardening is his life. His day is planned around the garden. He is a natural.'
David Domoney said: 'What a little star! Lucas’s passion for gardening reminds me of how I was at school – fascinated by plants. I found the process of watching things grow amazing and, like me, I know that Lucas’s passion will never leave him. Although it’s obvious that Lucas has a future in gardening, it certainly wasn’t an easy feat picking the winner. Every finalist demonstrated exemplary ability and enthusiasm, and I wish Lucas and all the runners-up the best of luck for the future – just don’t get too good too quick or I’ll be out of a job!'
On top of the title of RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2012, Lucas will spend the day at RHS Garden Wisley working with an RHS gardener, he’ll receive family tickets to RHS Flower Show Tatton Park or RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013, and his school will receive gardening tools and £500 worth of garden gift vouchers.
Lucas, who came top of the 8–11 age bracket, wasn’t the only shining entrant. Ashton Proctor, from Great Missenden CofE Combined School in Buckinghamshire was the winner of the 5–7 age group. Henry Grub from Imberhorne School, West Sussex came top of the 11–14 category. Alan Monk, from Oaklands Catholic School, Hampshire won the 14–16 age group. These group winners have also won tools and £500 vouchers for their schools.