A team of four student garden designers at the Eden Project have won a prestigious national award which will see them creating a show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this summer.
Their inspirational design is called Tre Wostiwedh – Cornish for “home at last” – and is based on the idea of a Cornish miner coming up from the dark depths of the earth and stepping into an exotic garden full of colour and life.
The students, Jenny Booty from Lavendon, Buckinghamshire, Lizz Dobinson from Exeter, Devon, Nicky Shellis from Portreath, Cornwall, and Tim Walker from Snowdonia, Wales, are in their first year on the HND and BSc Garden & Landscape Design courses, taught at Eden, run in collaboration with Cornwall College and awarded by Plymouth University.
They will feature a body of plants evocative of Cornwall and some of the places the miners went to work, including tree ferns, bottle brush and agapanthus.
The low walls – inspired by traditional hedges of the county – will be fashioned from Cornish granite. Water will be carried along a copper rill into an oversized Cornish kibble, a metal bucket once used to carry ore from mines to the surface.
The students will work alongside staff and landscape contractors to build the garden at Hampton Court, the world’s largest flower show.
The competition, run by the Royal Horticultural Society and BBC Local Radio, called for budding designers to come up with a “Feel Good Front Garden” for the show.
The designers were asked to celebrate their local community and highlight the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening. The Eden students’ submission is one of four winning designs. Their garden will stand alongside other winners from Kent, Manchester and Bristol.
As well as having their garden created, the four winners will also have the opportunity to visit RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week to meet their mentors: Chelsea Gold-medal-winning designer Ann-Marie Powell, and established garden and landscape designer, writer and television presenter James Alexander-Sinclair.
Ann-Marie and James will be on hand to offer guidance to the four finalists in the lead-up to Hampton Court, sharing their expert knowledge and offering tips and advice along with a plant masterclass.
Programme Manager Matt James said: “We’re lucky to have such a creative group of designers studying at Eden and this is a brilliant effort, especially as the design team aren’t even midway through their studies.
“To have won such an exciting competition is an incredible achievement. It is all the more special as the result will be an evocative garden resonant of the mining history and the great planting traditions of Cornwall.”
Eden Managing Director Gordon Seabright said: “What a great accolade this is, not just for the winning team of four designers but also for our partnership with Cornwall College and Plymouth University. To receive this honour in the first year shows just how well the garden and landscape design courses are bedding in at Eden and what a rich seam of talent there is among the students.”