The 2018 Grand Final will be held at The Harrogate Spring Flower Show on Saturday 28th April 2018 – put the date in your diary! For a round up of last year’s final read below.
The 2017 Young Horticulturist of the Year is Scotland’s Lachlan Rae! This year’s Young Horticulturist of the Year competition came to an exciting end on 6 May at University Centre Shrewsbury where the final 8 competitors fought for the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world with a £2,500 bursary. The bursary is provided in honour of Percy Thrower, Britain’s first celebrity gardener, known for his work with the BBC on Gardeners world and Blue Peter. This year’s competition received over 2,500 entries from young horticulturists under the age of 30 from all over the UK and Ireland.
The competition itself began just after 11:00 and after the first few rounds Lachlan was already in the lead, closely followed by Fern with just one point between them. But after the points from the morning’s identification rounds were added into the mix, we saw Josh rise to first place with Julia and Lachlan following in close behind. Going into the final round there were 20 quick fire questions with 40 points up for grabs. Fern started in the lead, but very quickly Lachlan showed his abilities taking away 17 points and allowing him to take first place. Competition organiser Susan Nicholas said she had never seen such a tight competition with only 5 points between first and second place.
The final scores
59, Lachlan Rae, Scotland, Auchendolly Estate
54, Fern Champney, Eastern, Writtle College
51, Josh Egan-Wyer, West Midlands and South Wales, Pershore College
46, Julia Andersson, South East, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
42, Matthew Brewer, Northern, RHS Gardens Harlow Carr
34, Nathan Foulds, North West & North Wales, Reaseheath College
32, Peter Adams, South West, RHS Rosemoor
31, Egle Zinkute, Ireland, National Botanical Gardens Dublin
Lachlan Rae is 25 years of age and currently lives in Auchendolly, Scotland. Find out a bit more about our 2017 winner:
“Following a period of employment and self-employment in the Horticultural sector; I undertook the Horticulture with Plantsmanship course delivered by SRUC and The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. I have since assumed the role of Head Gardener at Auchendolly Estate, which I began in April 2015.
I live with my wife, Sian, and two children, Georgie and Harris. Being a father has highlighted the importance of promoting and encouraging young people in a horticultural context; which has resulted in me becoming a YoungHort Ambassador.
This year is my third competing in The Young Horticulturist of the Year competition grand final. Competing has brought me many opportunities and has offered a host of networking opportunities. Should I be successful in winning, I would use the bursary to extend a trip planned to Australia next year.”
The competition was covered by BBC Shropshire’s Paul Shutterworth. After the competition when asked where he would like to see himself in the future, Lachlan replied “Looking forward towards the future I could quite happily see myself in a television gardening role”
It would be fantastic to see Lachlan following in the footsteps of Percy Thrower, taking inspiration from Britain’s first celebrity gardener.
2012 YHOY winner, Douglas Mackay said “They hid their nerves much better than I remember managing to and it was so closely-fought! The day had a great buzz and you feel so energised by all that horticultural knowledge.”
After the final round, we heard an inspiring speech from James Hodgson, one of the founding trustees of the Percy Thrower Trust. The prizes were then due to be presented by SHS Chairman, Richard Whittingham, however Richard thought it would be more fitting to have Percy Throwers’ three daughters present the certificates, so Margaret Thrower, Ann Kirkham and Sue Jones took to the stage.
As well as their certificates, each finalist received a collage of one of Percy Throwers horticultural projects -the dingle, a book and free membership to both the CIH and Plant network. Lachlan Rae now has his opportunity to plan how he will spend his £2,500 during his extended visit to Australia and possibly Tasmania. Fern goes home with £950 and Josh with £550 while the rest of the runners up all receive £200, all to be used in any way they wish.
If you would like copies of any of the below images please email email@example.com
Our 2018 Young Horticulturist of the Year national sponsors
We are indebted to all of our sponsors; our national sponsors are The Shropshire Horticultural Society, who are the major sponsors of the competition, as well as MorePeople and the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) who all generously provide sponsorship throughout the duration of the competition. There are also many fantastically generous regional sponsors behind the scenes supporting our heats and regional finals.
2017 Winner - Lachlan Rae
This year’s Young Horticulturist of the Year competition came to an exciting end on May 6th at University Centre Shrewsbury where the final 8 competitors fought for the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world with a £2,500 bursary. The bursary is provided in honour of Percy Thrower, Britain’s first celebrity gardener, known for his work with the BBC on Gardeners world and Blue Peter. This year’s competition received over 2,500 entries from young horticulturists under the age of 30 from all over the UK and Ireland.