Following weeks of regional heats and events, the grand final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year was held at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin in Dublin on May 7th.
Over 2000 thousand young people competed for the prize of a £2500 Percy Thrower Travel Bursary and the title. Eight finalists from around the UK faced a Question Master asking a range of horticultural questions and the overall winner is declared at the end. This year, 2016 Lawrence Wright from the South East was announced the winner.
Lawrence, a blogger for Richard Jackson’s Garden, is currently studying at RHS Wisely. He received the £2500 Travel Bursary provided by the Percy Thrower Trust and will be able to use it to further his horticultural career anywhere in the world.
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.
This annual competition is organised by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, the only professional body representing all aspects of horticulture. The Institute founded the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in 1990 as a way of encouraging and rewarding excellence among those starting out in a career in horticulture and today around 2000 young people under the age of 30 participate each year.
The 2017 competition will be free to enter and is open to any horticulturist who is below the age of 30 on 31 July 2017.