APL World Skills 2014
In 2014, Alex was invited to design the gardens for The World Skills Competition. This is a great opportunity for horticultural students to demonstrate their skills in both hard and soft landscaping in a competitive atmosphere with the heats being held at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park and the finals in November at the NEC. The brief Alex was given was to design 8 identical plots of 2m x 6m that contestants would need a wide variety of hard landscaping skills to complete and that could be reasonable built within 22 hours.
The inspiration behind the design was the devastation and misery flooding caused across the country earlier this year and how gardens can be designed to buffer damage from future extreme weather. A drainage gully (or ‘swale’) filled with pebbles will act to hold excess water and flood tolerant plants fill the garden. A raised walkway would allow access with moderate flood water and a raised border would allow for growth of non flood tolerant plants. A range of hard landscaping materials have been included such as fair-trade sawn sandstone paving, sawn sandstone cobble setts, decking and fencing. Planting in the swale has flood tolerant species. The palette is colourful yet soft with purples, whites and blues and accents of orange for warmth.
The heats are being held at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park between the 23rd July and 27th July. The winners will go on to The Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC in November where finalists compete to be named the ‘Best in the UK’ in front of 70,000 people.