Surrey students to compete in show garden competition at BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair

Landscaping and Horticulture students from Merrist Wood College in Guildford will be showcasing their skills when they take on the College Gardens competition at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair at Beaulieu in the New Forest, Hampshire (3-5 May).
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Merrist Wood will go head to head with Plumpton College in East Sussex and Capel Manor College in Enfield in North London. Award-winning garden designer, Cherry Carmen, a BBC Gardeners’ World Live Gold medallist, will mentor the competing college teams as they create budget-friendly garden designs with the theme, ‘Gardening in a Challenging Climate’.

Merrist Wood College’s entry, Equilibrium, is designed for someone interested in finding new ways to enjoy their garden in a changing climate. It will feature a living roof and two very different planted areas, one for drought-tolerant planting and one for flood-tolerant planting, divided by a loose path. The design will highlight the importance of gardens in supporting the environment and will encourage Spring Fair visitors to use a wide range of plants in their gardens to support wildlife, biodiversity and a healthy planet. Some of the plants used in the garden have been grown at the college by learners studying Horticulture. Being conscious of budget and the positive environmental impact gardens can have, many of the hard landscaping features will be recycled, repurposed and reinvested.

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Lucy Tremlett, Head of Horticultural Division at Immediate Live, organisers of the BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair, said: “It’s fantastic to see the next generation of landscapers and horticulturists tackling such an important theme in such creative ways. We can’t wait to see the College competition gardens in situ at Beaulieu. They’re sure to inspire visitors with some wonderful ideas to take home. No matter what size garden or level of gardening experience you have, it’s impossible to spend a day at the Spring Fair without feeling inspired.”

Merrist Wood designMerrist Wood design
Merrist Wood design

The BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair takes place at Beaulieu from 3-5 May, and is a celebration of the start of the spring gardening and growing season. Highlights include inspiring showcase gardens and floral displays, achievable ideas to try at home, workshops and demonstrations, the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine stage featuring TV presenters and Magazine editors, the new Get Growing stage, tips and advice from plant experts, garden tours, plants and garden shopping, children’s activities, and tempting food and drink at the BBC Good Food Market.

Tickets available at, including full access to all of Beaulieu’s gardens, grounds and attractions.