Aspiring Garden Designers – Get to the Chelsea Flower Show with the BBC

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BBC Garden Design Show EntryCurrent or graduate horticulture student?  The BBC, the UK’s largest public broadcaster, is looking for amateur and student garden designers for a new show to be called Designs on Chelsea.

Developed in association with the Royal Horticulture Society, this show will follow a competition between amateur and student gardeners as they attempt to design a garden worthy of appearing at the premier horticulture event in the world – the Chelsea Flower Show in London 2015!  Only one will succeed to win the coveted prize of designing a garden to appear on Main Avenue at the show. 

ADL already offers a great selection of distance learning horticulture courses, many of which are indeed developed in association with the RHS and are ideal for aspiring gardeners and designers.  Students are eligible to apply for the competition so long as they do not professionally work as a landscape gardener – this is a competition for amateurs after all!

Interested?  Well there’s more.  Here’s a list of the requirements.

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • All Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong gardening and garden design skills.
  • You need an obvious passion for gardening and horticultural knowledge.
  • You cannot be working in garden design at the moment, but may work in other horticultural fields.
  • Applicants must be available for a minimum of 10 days of filming during the filming period.
Applying for the competition

Interested aspiring gardeners can submit an application either by calling the BBC directly on 0117 974 6648 or by completing an application online at:

In support of your application, you’ll also need to provide the following additional materials
  • A photo of a garden that you designed, whether it is your own or one you designed for someone else.
  • Two drawings of a garden plot 10 by 12 meters long with an explanation of the thinking behind your garden.  Your explanation may be up to 200 words long and your drawings should be an overhead plan and an artist’s impression.
  • A photo of yourself so that your application can be tracked.
What about non-UK residents?

Glad you asked.  As ADL is a global institution we have students from all over the world.  We asked the BBC and, happily, they informed us that the competition is open to everyone subject to the above requirements and restrictions.  However you will have to be available in the UK for filming if you are selected. 

When is it happening?

Applications for the contest must be received by the BBC by the 20th of June and no later.  Filming will commence over July, August and September.  The next Chelsea Flower Show will take place between the 21st and 24th of May 2015.

On behalf of all of us at ADL, we’d just like to wish any students thinking of applying the very best of luck with their applications.

But what if you don’t think you’re ready to showcase your designs this year?  Well fortunately, ADL has a whole range of courses, from our RHS accredited garden design courses, to a wide range of specialized garden courses, covering a range of disciplines from soil management to home hydroponics! You might not be ready to apply this year, but start learning today and the next time the call goes out for garden designers you’ll be ready. 

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