This blog was originally posted on the University of Sheffield landscape department website. 

17 students from the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield tested their planting design skills in front of an audience of thousands, as they took part in the Long Border Competition at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, which opened to the public on Wednesday 5 June.

The students – from both undergraduate and postgraduate courses – designed their 7m x 1.8m borders around the theme of the five senses.

Working either individually, in pairs or groups of three, the students created nine of the 16 borders at the 2019 show. With their costs covered by the Department of Landscape Architecture, the students designed and planned their exhibits – alongside their university work – over the past six months and had four days in which to build and plant up.

The group were coordinated by Dr. Sally O’ Halloran, a University teacher who specialises in planting design, who said: “I am thrilled to have the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show on our doorstep, as it is a wonderful opportunity for the students to bring a concept to life and it adds something different to their portfolios if they want to specialise in planting design in the future.”

“What is great is that this year’s entrants have paired up with students from different year groups and different countries including Norway, America, India China, Japan, and Indonesia. Not only that, there has been a whole group of people behind the scenes growing on plants for and with them, designing sculptures, and keeping them calm while they juggle end of year assessments.”

“I also want thank the five students who entered the Long Border Competition last year – Russell, Alistair, Bart, Liwen and Amber. They led the way and inspired this year’s 17 to enter!”

The Long Border Competition at RHS Chatsworth Flower Show provides the opportunity for plant enthusiasts from all backgrounds – including garden design professionals – to experience the design, planning and build of a horticultural exhibit in a show environment.

Judging took place on 4 June and the Department of Landscape Architecture is delighted to announce that every border was awarded an RHS medal with the students collecting two gold, four silver-gilt, two silvers and one bronze medal between them. Congratulations to all on their outstanding achievement!

Learn more about the winning projects.