Young designers tackle today's big issues

Rising sea levels, long Covid and carbon footprinting were just some of the topics tackled in the gardens created by 2022's five finalists

The next generation of garden designers drew inspiration from the tumultuous events of recent years in the Young Designer garden category at RHS Tatton Park 2022.

The WFH Garden

The Working From Home Garden, Will ScholeyWill Scholey (London, 26) scooped the coveted RHS Young Designer of the Year award with his re-imagination of the typical office environment. The Working From Home Garden created a tranquil, nature-rich setting filled with ideas to reduce the user’s carbon footprint.

The Working From Home Garden
A garden path represented a ‘commute’ through meadow-inspired planting with dappled shade from multi-stem trees, culminating in a light-filled studio looking out onto the garden.  

Paradise Found

Paradise Found, Tom ClarkeA calming colour palette that offers plenty for the eye to explore could be seen in Paradise Found by Tom Clarke (22, Yorkshire).  Planting with pink, purple, white and green hues was complemented by a water feature and accentuated by a rich blue backdrop wall.

Paradise Found
Evoking the spirit of Morocco, colour was abundant at ground-level with geraniums, agapanthus, scabious and achillea, punctuated with height from palms and cypress trees contrasting with flowing grasses.

Come Lime With Me

Come Lime With Me, Emma Tipping

Taking inspiration from her Anglo-Guyanese roots, Emma Tipping (28, London), used a vibrant planting selection in Come Lime With Me  to create a fun atmosphere while also reflecting on rising sea levels, an issue affecting both the Guyanese and British coastlines.

Come Lime With Me

The Covid Recovery Garden

Rachel Platt, The Covid Recovery Garden
Awarded Best Construction for a Young Designer Garden, The Covid Recovery Garden by Rachel Platt (25, Buckinghamshire) saw a meandering path of steely-blue arriving at a transparent arbour – designed to provide an accessible oasis to those suffering from long Covid.

The Covid Recovery Garden
Planting with cool, calming tones lined the paths and purifying and remedial plants created a restorative garden.

Slow Down, Breathe Deep

Alex Pettitt, Slow Down, Breathe Deep
Another young designer who focussed on the healing properties of gardens is Alex Pettitt (26, Northamptonshire).

His garden, Slow Down, Breathe Deep, saw a bench protected by the dappled shade of an arbour, overlooking the gentle movement of textural ornamental grasses and hints of yellow, pink and purple flower colour – altogether creating a space with a sense of sanctuary, designed specifically for staff of an NHS specialist hospital.

Slow Down, Breathe Deep

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.