BBC and RHS Launch Garden Design Competition

rhs logo 2015‘Feel Good Front Gardens’ is the theme for a new Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and BBC Local Radio competition launched today, which gives four BBC local radio listeners the chance to design a garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016 (5 – 10 July).

The competition is asking amateur gardeners and aspiring garden designers in England, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to create and submit a front-garden design that celebrates their local community and highlights the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening. Four of the best designs, chosen by an esteemed judging panel, will go on to be built at the world-famous flower show in July, giving the winners an opportunity to see their designs become a reality.

England has 39 BBC Local Radio stations which have been an integral part and voice of communities in the regions for nearly 50 years. To reflect this, entrants should look to tie in a link to their BBC region or local area in some way, taking inspiration for example from the local heritage, buildings, foods, people, plants or another aspect of local life. This year the RHS Greening Grey Britain Campaign* wants to raise awareness of the positive impact that gardens and gardening have on people’s health and happiness which is one of the themes entrants should consider in their design.

bbcAs well as having their garden created for exhibition at the show, the four winners will also have the opportunity to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 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 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, sharing their expert knowledge and offering tips and advice along with a plant master class.

Dave Green, Show Manager for RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for someone passionate about gardening and design to see their vision come to life and get a glimpse into the world of garden design, gaining expert advice and hands-on experience. I am very excited to see what the BBC Local Radio listeners come up with.”

The closing date for entry is noon on Friday 26 February. Judges will select the four best designs from around the UK and will consider: how well the garden interprets the theme; how interesting and creative the design is; the effective use of plants; how well the design has considered sustainability issues; and how realistic the design is within a small budget.

Information on how to enter the competition is available at www.bbc.co.uk/localradiogarden
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