RHS Young Designer 2017 Announced at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

24-year-old Ula Maria from Northampton has been awarded a Gold medal and the coveted title of RHS Young Designer at this year’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Flower Show Tatton Park.

Returning for its ninth year, the competition’s theme was inspired by ever increasing working hours. Highlighting the creative and mindful benefits of green spaces, three finalists were selected to design a Show Garden demonstrating what the fusion of garden and office means to them.

Her winning garden ‘Studio Unwired’ was designed as a contemporary outdoor hot-desk office within an urban setting. Creating a space that combines tranquillity with a rustic elegance, the garden is designed to transport users out of the crowded and conventional office space into a serene, earthy environment.
On being crowned as RHS Young Designer 2017, Ula said: “I’m so happy and incredibly proud to have taken part in this competition. It has been such an exciting and inspirational experience to be a part of it and amazing to have the opportunity to do what you really love. I still can’t believe it and I’m so thankful to everyone who helped on the garden.”

Fellow finalist Jake Curley (25) also received an RHS Gold medal for his garden ‘Business and Pleasure’, which was inspired by the New York-style rooftops and highline typical of urban environments. Meanwhile 27-year-old Anca Panait’s ‘Prospect and Refuge’ garden was awarded Silver-Gilt, and offers an enclosed escape from the outside world, using height variations to buffer city noise, creating a space for quiet, undisturbed work.

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park has become synonymous with budding new talent with previous finalists going on to design at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, including Hugo Bugg and Sam Ovens, who also won a Gold Medal at the first ever RHS Chatsworth Flower Show this year. RHS Young Designer 2016 winner Caitlin McLaughlin also secured a Gold working with multi-award winning designer Sarah Eberle on an exhibit for nursery giant Hilliers at RHS Chelsea in May, while finalist Kate Saville and 2015 winner Tamara Bridge created the Jo Whiley Scent Garden as part of the Show’s BBC Radio 2 ‘Feel Good Gardens’.
Continuing the theme of youth in horticulture, the RHS Young Landscape Contractor (supported by BALI) and RHS Young Planting Designer 2017 competition also returned to the show for its second year to challenge Young Landscape Contractors and Young Planting Designers to work together and deliver a Garden showcasing their skills. The 2017 winning title of RHS Young Landscape Contractor was awarded to Elliott Hood (26), and RHS Young Planting Designer to Ben Poulter (25) for their coastal retreat, ‘Chaos to Coastline Coastal Garden’.

Tickets are still available for RHS Tatton Park which runs until Sunday 23 July. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.rhs.org.uk/tatton.

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