Winning design destined for RHS Bridgewater

Two landscape architect students have won a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) competition to design a new learning garden at the new RHS Garden Bridgewater. Stella Yang and Karsan Karavadra, from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), will see their winning design come to life within the RHS’s planned fifth garden, when it opens to the public in 2020.

The students’ design, called ‘The Plant Factory‘ is based on the idea of plants as machines and will teach all ages about the nature of plants and how they work. The garden will act as an outdoor learning space exploring the concept of the plant as a factory, showing how products (light, nutrients, water and warmth) transform into physical attributes (leaves, stems) to create very different plants.

The garden will be created within the historic 11-acre Walled Garden, one of the largest of its kind in the UK. It will sit alongside a Kitchen Garden (designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg), a Paradise Garden (designed by Tom Stuart-Smith), and a well-being garden and community teaching allotments.

The Garfield Weston Foundation forms part of the wider masterplan for the 153-acre garden, also created by Tom Stuart-Smith.

Marcus Chilton-Jones, curator at RHS Garden Bridgewater, points out that this is the first time that the RHS has given landscape architecture students the chance to design a key area of an RHS Garden. He has been astounded by the quality of entries to the competition commenting: “We chose this one because it is flexible, playful and engaging and it fits well with the national curriculum. It is also links plants with the local industrial heritage and reflects the different microclimates we have on site.”

The course at MMU is the region’s only landscape architecture course and programme leader for Landscape Architecture, Eddy Fox, is delighted that they were able to collaborate with the RHS in the competition commenting that it engaged all the students and generated a range of highly creative ideas and proposals.

The competition demonstrates the commitment of the RHS in supporting young designers and will give the winners a fantastic opportunity to make their mark in horticulture.

The RHS is currently fundraising to create RHS Garden Bridgewater and need to raise £5.5 million to create this new and exciting resource for the North West.

Photo copyright: garden plan ©RHS