Young garden designer Kristian Reay has just won the 2019 RHS Young Designer Competition, which is synonymous with championing youth in horticulture.The Somerset-based designer was one of four finalists aged 28 and under to be featured at the RHS’s Flower Show Tatton Park, which is running until Sunday. His garden, The Phytosanctuary Garden is an intriguing prospect, featuring a number of plants at risk from the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which is native to the Americas but has caused significant damage in Europe recently.
He fought off competition from Charlie Hartigan, who created a garden that raised awareness of enometiosis, Aidan Cifelli, who created planting echoing coastal pine forests and Laurence Senior, who was inspired by Baroque and Tudor formal design.
Flower Show Tatton Park runs until 21 July and new talent is a key part of the event, which has launched the careers of many successful gardeners designers.
Young Designer of the Year Kristian Reay in his winning garden. (C) RHS/Charlotte Graham
At first glance, Kristian Reay’s garden looks like a beautiful, relaxed affair, but look deeper and the planting reveals the connection to Xylella. At risk species included are olive tree and lavender, both of which will be wiped out if the disease spreads to the UK.
The Phytosanctuary Garden, designed by Kristian Reay. (© RHS/Neil Hepworth) © RHS/Neil Hepworth
Look through all the Young Designer Competition gardens here.