Kilsaran Student Design Competition Winner Announced
James Aaron Purdy has been named the winner of the Kilsaran Student Garden Competition
21 February 2016
Award-winning gardener Diarmuid Gavin has announced horticulture student James Aaron Purdy as the winner of the prestigious Kilsaran Student Garden Competition. The competition, now in its third year, is the only one of its kind in Ireland giving students of horticulture, landscape design and architecture a chance to showcase their talent on a national stage.
In addition to being awarded a €3,000 bursary towards his design career, James has also been invited to be part of Diarmuid Gavin’s team at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. This year, luxury department store Harrods will be showcasing the “Harrods Eccentrics Garden” and James will get the chance to be part of the carefully selected team to help bring Diarmuid’s vision for this garden come to life along with Kilsaran’s Head Designer Mark Harewood.
The award’s presentation took place at Kilsaran’s headquarters in Dunboyne Co. Meath with the official award presented by Diarmuid. The brief was to design a garden to fit a 60 – 90 square metre space in the existing Kilsaran Home Display Gardens. The judges were looking for a design that was original, practical and buildable using the company’s hard paving and walling products within a budget of €20,000.
James’, who is from the Cregagh Road in Belfast, garden was entitled ‘A Sense of Place’ and brought the ‘wow factor’ by using a creative mix of planting, walling and paving to create a unique garden that’s easy-to-build and makes the best use of space. As part of the prize James will see this garden built and go on display at Kilsaran’s show gardens and will be on view to potential customers and also be welcomed onto Kilsaran’s team of designers.
There were five runner’s up in this year’s competition including Ken Ruane from Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Claire McNally from Stillorgan Co. Dublin, David Mallon from Co. Down, Brian Mangan from Griffith Avenue in Dublin and Rosemary O’Flynn from Sandyford in Dublin. Kilsaran received over 58 entries this year, its highest to date. The designs varied from traditional, contemporary to wacky. Winner James studies horticulture at CARFE in Greenmount – College of Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Diarmuid Gavin said, “James’ garden will be fantastic addition to Kilsaran’s show gardens. James integrated Kilsaran’s hard-landscaping products with beautiful flora and soft planting creating a space that would work in most domestic gardens. I’m really looking forward to having him on my team for The Chelsea Flower Show where we will build this year’s Harrod’s Garden – a wonderful opportunity for any student. We see lots of student competitions every year but this one is truly unique as it puts landscape design talent on the map and may encourage others to seek a career in this space.”
Tom Tevlin, Managing Director of Paving, Kilsaran Home said, “Build ability and budget control were critical factors in this competition and James clearly demonstrated both factors in his submission. We look forward James’ design coming to fruition here in May and also welcome him onto our panel of designers.”