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Merrist Wood Student Shines at BBC Gardeners’ World Live Show

Congratulations are in order for Elle Hepburn, a Level 2 Horticulture student from Merrist Wood College and University Centre, who recently made her debut at the prestigious BBC Gardeners’ World Live Show at NEC Birmingham. 

Elle, 24, entered the competition for the first time and crafted a stunning show garden in the Beautiful Borders category. Her creation, named “Little Library,” dazzled the judges with its vibrant colours and elegant design, earning her a well-deserved silver award. This marks the second time this year that Merrist Wood students have excelled in a national horticultural competition.

The garden, designed to attract and encourage wildlife, particularly pollinators, was inspired by a concerning study revealing a 64% decline in the number of insects sampled on vehicle number plates in the UK since 2004. This alarming statistic fueled Elle’s passion for creating a space that supports and nurtures insect life. 

Reflecting on her first experience at Gardeners’ World Live, Elle said, “I am so pleased and proud of myself for how my border turned out. I feel like I won already by getting this far and surviving the build! I had no gardening experience until I started college in September. My beautiful border was even featured on the Gardeners’ World TV programme the day after; I can’t believe it!” 

Elle’s journey from a novice to an award-winning gardener in such a short time is nothing short of remarkable. “I made some great contacts, and everyone involved was so friendly. The judges said they want me back next year and are impressed with what I’ve created in such a short time being in the industry. I can’t thank my tutors at Merrist Wood enough for their support,” she added. 

To find out more about the wide range of programmes offered at Merrist Wood College and University Centre, go to www.merristwood.activatelearning.ac.uk.