Young Horticulturist of the Year
A prestigious annual competition which attracts over 1,800 entrants each year, the winner receives the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, worth £2,000, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. This funds a horticultural tour anywhere in the world. There are prizes at every stage of the competition which is run in three phases: local heats, Regional Finals and the Grand Final.
See the latest feature article about the competition from The Horticulturist.
A review of the 2013 competition.
The 2014 national sponsors of the competiton are the Shropshire Horticultural Society - Platinum sponsors, MorePeople - Gold sponsors,the Horticultural Development Company and The Garden Centre Group. The competition is also suported by a wider range of local and regional sponsors.
Who can enter?
The competition is open to any horticulturist, living in the UK or Ireland and who is below the age of 30 on 31 July 2015, including all those employed in horticulture or anyone currently studying for a horticultural qualification.
Profiles of the 2014 finalists
See what some recent finalists say about the competition
When does the competition take place?
The heats start in January each year at colleges, garden centres and anywhere else where competitors may gather. They act as the first filter in the search for winners and test participants' knowledge across a wide range of horticultural subjects, through a PowerPoint presentation of 40 multi-choice questions. Heat winners go forward to one of eight Regional Finals, usually held in March, and the winner of each Regional Final progresses to the Grand Final, usually run in late April or early May. The 2015 Grand Final will be on 9 May at the National Trust's Barrington Court, Somerset.
Test your knowledge with some sample questions. Check your answers.
The Regional Finals and the Grand Final have the same public format. A Question Master asks a wide range of horticultural questions, some are on a buzzer, to test out the speed of thinking as well as the depth of knowledge, and some are directed to individual contestants. There are three identification rounds and eight other rounds on specific areas of horticulture. These parts of the competition are held at a wide variety of locations both regionally and nationally.
What about the prizes?
The overall winner receives the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, worth £2,000, provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. This funds a horticultural tour anywhere in the world. There are also prizes at every stage of the competition.
Past winners have travelled to every corner of the planet, including North America, Newfoundland, Borneo, Peru and China to study different environments, crops, specific plant groups and habitats. They have returned to provide fascinating and valuable reports for the Institute's journal The Horticulturist and often to progress their careers on the back of these successes. 2011 winner, Suzanne Moss, currently works at RHS Wisley as the Adult Learning Coordinator and used her Travel Bursary to travel to Madagascar to study the native flora.
How to take part?
There are three ways in which you can compete:
· attend one of the heats taking place at a venue in your local area
· in your work place, with an Institute of Horticulture approved supervisor
· Via Skype
The closing date for entry is 23 February 2015.
If you would like to take part please contact us with your full name; date of birth and your address. We will then get back to you to arrange when and how you can compete. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
The competition will be launched in December 2015 and will culminate on 9 May with the Grand Final at the National Trust's Barrington Court .
More information about the 2015 dates of heats and Regional Finals.
The Institute is grateful for the support from our 2014 competition national sponsors:
The Shropshire Horticultural Society are sponsors of the Grand Final and the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary.
Host venue for the Grand Final on 10 May 2014:
2014 Regional sponsors
- Bressingham (Blooms) Garden Centre (The Garden Centre Group)
- Bord Bia (The Garden Centre Group)
- Bridgemere Garden World
- Friends of Glasgow Botanics
- Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society
- North of England Horticultural Society
- Willian Sinclair Holdings
- Thomas Angel Landscapes
- South West Growers
The future of the competition
The future of the competition looks bright, with more colleges, organisations and businesses showing an interest every year and more young horticulturists testing themselves to the limits of their knowledge. More information