RHS Young Designer

Discover who's in the running for the 2019 title as we reveal this year's line up

At One, by Will Williams
Buzz around this year’s RHS Flower Show Tatton Park is already starting to build and we’re excited to announce the designers that will be going head to head in a bid to take this year’s Young Designer crown.

Young Designer is a competition that showcases the talent of horticulture’s future stars by tasking designers to create and build a show garden at Tatton Park. The only requirement is that our hopefuls are aged 28 years and under.

This year’s finalists will be mentored by multi award-winning design and construction experts Mark Gregory and Catherine MacDonald from Landform Consultants. 

With Mark and Catherine's support, the 2019 hopefuls will be looking to build on the success of previous years' entries – including 2018 winner, Will Williams (his garden, At One, is pictured above).
“Young Designer has been a great platform for getting my name out there,” said Will. “Since winning, I’ve had enquiries for designing gardens and there’s been interest in creating a garden for royalty, which will be amazing. It’s all come about thanks to the competition at Tatton Park.”

1 in 10, Charlie Hartigan

1.in.10 artwork
Landscape architect Charlie Hartigan is raising awareness of endometriosis in her garden, 1 in 10.

With colourful perennials surrounding a sunken terrace, this garden has been designed to be enjoyed.

Plentiful and comfortable seating is scattered throughout the garden, offering the opportunity to relax and enjoy all that the garden has to offer – you might inhale the gorgeous aroma of lavender and bask in the sun’s rays while listening to the gentle trickle of the nearby water feature.

This sensory experience offers escapism from everyday life, transporting visitors away from the pain of endometriosis to a place of healing.

“Approximately one in 10 women in the UK suffer from endometriosis, but it takes on average seven and a half years to achieve a diagnosis,” explained Charlie. “It's a serious condition that can leave the sufferer in chronic pain and fatigued, suffering from depression and social isolation, and potentially lead to difficulty conceiving.

“The aim of this garden is to reach out to parents, grandparents, carers, or anyone who might encourage a sufferer to seek treatment and hopefully change a woman’s life for the better.”

The Phytosanctuary Garden, Kristian Reay

The Phytosanctuary Garden artwork

 Kristian Reay is highlighting of the threat of the plant disease Xylella in his design, The Phytosanctuary Garden.

The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa is native to the Americas, but has caused significant damage across Europe in recent years, something that Kristian is keen to reflect in his planting. 

“Xylella hasn't been found in the UK yet, but olive trees in Italy have been severely affected by the disease,” he explained. “A single olive tree stands in the centre of the garden to symbolise the damage the disease can cause."

The planting will feature a number of at-risk plants, including rosemary and lavender, emphasising the impact that Xylella could have if the disease ever became established in the UK.

“As a Young Designer I’m deeply concerned about the risk from plant diseases like Xylella to our gardens and landscapes, so I think this is a really important topic to discuss at the show,” said Kristian. "Including at-risk garden favourites like lavender in the planting highlights the impact the disease could have if these plants were to vanish. "

Caledonian Coastal Garden, Aidan Cifelli

Caledonian Coastal Garden, Aidan Cifelli

Inspired by the beauty and tranquillity of the Scottish coastline, Aidan Cifelli’s design, the Caledonian Coastal Garden, features planting reminiscent of a coastal pine forest.

Pine trees line the perimeter of the garden, while a pebble beach leads to a pool of water. Large boulders scattered throughout the design give a sense of a rugged and exposed coastal scene.

The Caledonian Coastal Garden reflects 24-year-old Aidan’s memories of growing up in Scotland and how the coast acts as the perfect retreat for escaping urban life.

“I hope the garden encourages visitors to reflect on the beauty and tranquillity of the British coastline,” explained Aidan. “This garden highlights the importance of escaping the stress of modern-day life and spending time in nature. Water and untouched natural landscapes can be very calming.”

Baroque Garden, Laurence Senior

Baroque Garden artwork

Laurence Senior’s design, Baroque Garden, has been inspired by Baroque and Tudor formal gardens, featuring a secluded patio seating area overlooking a lily pond.

The romantic and wild planting is in stark contrast to the formal surroundings of the garden, creating a sense that the garden is being recaptured by nature.

“The garden is very formal in layout, but unlike traditional formal gardens the planting is wild, dense and frondose, creating a subtle suggestion of a wild force overtaking a formal garden and a sense of ruined arcadia,” explained Laurence.

“Rather than loud, colourful flowers I’ve opted for delicate white flowers, lush greenery and subtle tones of colour to create a sense of elegance and make the garden feel diaphanous and ethereal.”

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