The bright young stars of horticulture took centre stage at the 2014 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by M&G Investments, with many gardens being designed by new, up-and-coming talent, and many other exhibitors giving young people the opportunity to be a part of this world-class show.
Twenty-six year-old Hugo Bugg designed a garden at the show for the first time, for Royal Bank of Canada. The RBC Waterscape Garden was designed to illustrate global water issues, while demonstrating practical water management solutions for the home gardener. Hugo was named RHS Young Designer of the Year in 2010, when he designed a gold medal-winning garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park.
Brothers Harry and David Rich, aged just 26 and 23 respectively, together designed a garden for environmentally responsible utility provider, Bord Na Mona. The brothers designed an Artisan Garden at the show in 2013. Designed for Beechwood College in Cardiff, the garden takes its inspiration from the constellations, creating a naturalistic, calm environment where the children can learn about both land and space.
Inspired by the personal experience of his brother’s tours to Afghanistan with the armed forces, 29-year-old Matt Keightley designed his first show garden, Hope on the Horizon, for servicemen’s charity, Help for Heroes, representing the complex path towards recovery experienced by injured and sick personnel.
Apprentices helped to build a number of show gardens, including The Homebase Garden – Time to Reflect, designed by Adam Frost. Part of Homebase’s Garden Academy Scheme, the apprentices completed 10 months of training, including days with experts at RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey, before coming on site to assist Adam. Apprentices enrolled on the RHS apprenticeship scheme at RHS Garden Wisley, were also on site to help build spectacular gardens. Nick Drury and Daniel Vaughan, who started their apprenticeships at RHS Garden Wisley in July 2013, supported the team from Crocus to build Show Gardens for The Daily Telegraph and Laurent-Perrier.
Pathways to careers in horticulture
Elsewhere at the show, students and young people were given the opportunity to develop practical skills and learn about the diversity of career opportunities within horticulture. In the Great Pavilion, students from schools and horticultural colleges helped to create some of the spectacular floral displays, including those for Hilliers Nurseries, Birmingham City Council, UK Horticulture and Scotts Miracle-Gro.
Other highlights at the show in 2014, included The M&G Garden, designed by Cleve West. Inspired by the Persian concept of the ‘Paradise Garden’. And, inspired by the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, ABF The Soldier’s Charity Garden, reflected on how the damaging effects of the war were felt, not only by the people involved, but by the landscape on which the battles were fought.