Hertfordshire Garden designers build foundations for their future with Hampton Court Palace award success

Career-changer garden designers Vanessa Hoch and Rachel Pocock create a silver-gilt award winning first show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show reflecting their journey through education.

Rachel and Vanessa Foundation for Growth garden
Rachel and Vanessa Foundation for Growth garden

Their debut RHS Garden, sponsored by Capel Manor College and Provender Nurseries has been designed as an inspirational space, in an education setting, for visitors to learn and reflect and discover their potential.

“The opportunity to put our first planting design into fruition and to be rewarded with a Silver Gilt medal at Hampton Court is beyond my wildest dreams.” Said Vanessa. “Both Rachel and myself are incredibly proud of what we have achieved and are grateful for all the help from our team of planters and hard landscapers.”

‘Foundations for Growth’ opened the BBC’s television coverage of the world’s largest flower show on Monday 29th with Joe Swift complementing the planting tones. The feedback from the judges was extremely positive with the colour scheme and the overall feel of the garden being appreciated in particular.

“Our experience at College gave us, and our fellow students of all ages, the opportunity to follow a different path; to utilise and build on our skills and interests. Garden design has enabled me to combine my love of being outside in green spaces with an appreciation of colour and design.” Rachel says. “I’m so glad I made the leap.”

The pair, both from Hertfordshire met during their studies at Capel and after graduating with Garden Design Diplomas in 2014 established their own garden design business VaRa Garden Design.

“What fantastic success for Vanessa and Rachel, and for the College. They worked so hard in collaboration with a number of our current hard landscaping students to create Foundations for Growth. The garden is inspirational and contains many bespoke elements. Our garden design courses have been specifically designed to provide the skills to be successful in the industry and their award is a reflection of this. I wholeheartedly congratulate everyone in involved.” Lee Sanders Head of Garden Design and Plantsmanship at Capel Manor College.
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show opens 30 June until 5 July.

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