Capel students win Fresh Talent competition at Chelsea Flower Show

Capel Manor first year level 2 garden design students Sarah Jarman, Arit Anderson and Anna Murphy, have won first prize in the Fresh Talent competition with their ‘Bird Columny’ display.

The RHS organised the national competition for individuals starting their careers in horticulture or floristry, to decorate and enhance three towering sculptures with displays that are innovative, eye catching, creative and are horticultural in nature. The sculptures, which were commissioned by the RHS, were used as a landmark for visitors to find the Fresh Gardens, a new show garden category introduced at the show in 2012.

Capel Manor level 2 garden design students Anna Murphy, Arit Anderson and Sarah Jarman

The level 2 students’ initial inspiration for the ‘Bird Columny’ came from what the sculpture actually looked like; in the eyes of one of the designers ‘a giant bird feeder’. The design was created to highlight the plight of the native birds and to encourage individuals to take responsibility for looking after and maintaining the native bird population.

The base of the column represents the suburban garden and has the presence of water and a variety of grasses and flowers that encourages wildlife and insects which are imperative in the food chain of birds. Grass verges that blend into brambles, hawthorn, ivy and climbing roses represent the reduction of our hedgerow, which is also important in the protection and shelter of the native birds. The rest of the column is decorated with a variety of plants, mosses and twigs shaped into nests and silhouettes of birds are placed around the tower which is crowned with branches made of steel to represent the future ‘if we do not look after our present’.

Former fashion retailer and level 2 garden design student, Arit Anderson said; “The opportunity to exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show, in our first year at Capel Manor College, has so far been an amazing experience. The tight timescale really pushed us to use our individual skills to produce the concept. If it wasn’t for Capel Manor College and what it stands for in the world of garden design training we would not have been in this amazing position. Being one of the 3 finalists will certainly spur us on to further our careers; we have started competing against the very best at the most famous Gardening Show in the world. How good is that!!


Garden Design students Sarah Jarman, Arit Anderson, TV presenter George Lamb and Anna Murphy
A variety of plants, mosses and twigs shaped into nests


‘Beyond Reach’ exhibit by Alison Worster

‘Beyond Reach’ exhibit by Alison Worster
Recent graduate, Alison Worster was part of the Capel Manor Team who won the Gold medal at the Ideal Home Young Gardeners Competition in March of this year and she entered the Fresh Talent competition soon after. Alison’s exhibit Beyond Reach was designed to raise awareness of the variety of poisonous and toxic plants found in a normal domestic garden by using an assortment of plants such as the ivy, woody nightshade, foxglove and periwinkle for the base of the tower. The rest of the tower is decorated with strawberry plants and symbolises the way in which nature guards itself from predators.

Alison said: “My tutor had told me about the competition so I decided to submit my design for the experience of entering a competition as an individual rather than as a group and it would also look great in my portfolio; not thinking I would actually get through to the finals. Having my design chosen was a surprise and I am still running on pure adrenaline until the exhibit is set up and completed. I dreamt of being at the Chelsea Flower Show one day, it is an ambition of many garden designers to showcase their work there, I guess dreams do come true.”

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