Due to social distancing guidelines the judging this year was different to all previous years with the main proportion of the judging being undertaken by Sophie Guinness, Curriculum Leader in Horticulture and Melinda Hilliard, Lecturer in Garden Design with the top 5 designs selected and then sent to the rest of the judging panel, Liz Hughes of Provender Nurseries, Mark Cook, Grounds and Gardens Manager and Julie Dowbiggin, NGC and Plant Sales Manager, to select the winning design.
The brief for the 2020 design was set to students of Level 3 Certificate in Plants and Planting for Garden Design and was applied to an existing display garden that Provender Nurseries will be taking over and sponsoring on the grounds of Capel Manor College Enfield Campus later in the year.
The brief was to create a planted space that relates to climate change, show sustainability, educate and promote wellbeing. Students were encouraged to incorporate the use of new varieties of plants that are held in stock at Provender Nurseries following an educational visit in which students were shown some newer plant options.
The winning design by Sarah Brown entitled A Sustainable Garden focused on a philosophy of creating a garden with habitats and food for pollinating insects and birds with a wide range of plants planted in large drifts to reflect this. New plant varieties used in the design that impressed the judges include Hydrangea arborescens BellaRagazza Mauvette, part of the Proven Winners range, a dwarf Annabelle type and Lonicera nitida Scoop, an evergreen small leaved Honeysuckle that is a good alternative to small Buxus balls.
Some plants in the existing garden were selected to stay in situ due to their ornamental and educational value to students. An established hedge was removed in the design to open up the aspect and create a more open garden for visitors to the campus to enjoy.
Sarah Brown has previously worked in the film and tv industry and is looking forward to starting her own planting design practice, and furthering her studies in Garden Design; with a focus on developing her knowledge of landscaping.
Sarah has been awarded a cheque for £250.00. The competition will run later in 2021 to new students of Level 3 Certificate in Plants and Planting for Garden Design at Capel Manor College.