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Meet the winners of our competition to design four front gardens for Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Earlier this year the RHS and BBC Local Radio launched a nationwide competition inviting amateur gardeners and designers to design a front garden taking inspiration from their local region.
The call was in response to the fact that one in four front gardens are now completely paved over and our modern streets are, for the first time, more grey than green
The four winning entrants have worked with our judges and mentors Ann-Marie Powell and James Alexander-Sinclair, and contractor Ali Dempster of Sandstone Design to create four small front gardens for visitors to enjoy at Hampton Court.
Sarah grew up in Somerset, with a love of the landscape, plants and the environment. She had a successful career designing for street-style brands for more than 10 years in London. The birth of her daughter prompted a move to Whitstable on the East Kent coast and a more flexible approach to work and home life. Interested in the need to put the 'green' back into our urban areas and the 'wild' back into our gardens, Sarah hopes to combine her skills in design with her love for horticulture and embark on a new career in garden design.
Simon Judge has gardened for more than 30 years. He’s developed his present garden in an allotment over the past nine years, incorporating wildlife friendly features, as well as growing fruit and veg. He has also designed a number of gardens for friends. Simon is a full-time staff trainer for the Civil Service (the Department of Work and Pensions), but finds time for his passion – gardening – whenever he can.
Lee has worked as an IT Project manager in Manchester for the past 12 years; however, his real passion is gardening of all kinds. He's been gardening since he was a child and started his own garden blog a few years ago to help people who are new to gardening. Lee thinks gardening and design can be a form of therapy to help relax people.
Jenny Booty, Liz Dobinson, Nicky Shellis, and Tim Walker are four students studying with Eden Project Learning, a partnership between The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) and the Eden Project, which develops academic skills, coupled with real-world experience. Nicky has developed an interest in inclusive design for public landscape while on the course, while Tim is immersing himself in horticulture after many years of interest. Liz has a degree in Fine Art, and wants to use her creativity in horticultural setting, while Jenny hopes one day to leave behind her banking background and instead have her own garden design practice.
All 40 of the BBC’s local stations promoted the competition using the theme “Feel Good Gardens Inspired by Where I Live” and they received entries from every part of England – each one showing both creativity and a passion for gardening.
Last year the RHS launched Greening Grey Britain, which calls on people to pledge to green their own bit of grey and shares updated advice and ideas to green up front gardens. As part of the campaign, RHS Britain in Bloom is also transforming 6,000 community spaces from grey to green over the next three years. Key to the campaign is sharing ideas for parking and plants in front gardens.
Find out more from the BBC website.
Be inspired by these fantastic designs
Gardening in a Small Space
Tiny garden? No problem! See just what can be achieved
Garden design ideas
Plenty of inspiration for all kinds of garden styles
Find more ideas for transforming your garden in the RHS Front Gardens Guide (1.2MB pdf)
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Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9