It has been another busy year in the garden design department as lecturer Chris Bird’s ‘The Fundamentals of Horticulture’ was published by Cambridge academic press. Harry Mycock and Rosie Yeomans both retired at the end of last year to pursue other personal interests in horticulture and Matt Jessop (above) has taken over Harry’s role as Programme Leader for HE Horticulture and Garden Design.

To further add to the expertise of the department, we recruited MSGD prestigious designer Paul Hensey ( to teach Contemporary Garden Design on the BSc course. Paul publishes articles regularly in the Garden Design Journal and we are obviously extremely excited about having him on board. Along with Chris Prior, Sparsholt continues to recruit high profile, exceptionally professional and competent practitioners to the real benefit of students.

2014/15 is another exciting year for competitions in the department, here’s just a taster:

Grange Park Opera – Sparsholt Garden Design students have the opportunity to design the operatic area around Grange Park for the 2015 season. Winning concepts will judged by prominent garden designer Rosemary Alexander

Hercules Joint Venture with Balfour Beatty and Kier – As part of a £121m redevelopment of RAF Lyneham designs are invited from students to create a Memorial Garden in memory of 345 men and women who were repatriated through Lyneham between 2007 and 2011

Hampshire Constabulary – Designs are encouraged from Netley Memorial Gardens to create “…a fitting area where families and colleagues can remember officers, past and present, who have lost their lives in the execution of their duty”. Inspector Nick Adams of Hampshire Constabulary in charge of overseeing the project stipulated that “Sparsholt College has well-earned reputation and like the Constabulary has been part of Hampshire for over 100 years so we are very much hoping that we might involve the college and some of your students in the this project and they too will benefit from the project”.


We have been working with the National Trust and designer Dan Lobb on the redesign of the garden at Sandham Memorial Chapel in the North of the county. Planting concepts and plans were submitted by several Sparsholt students and those by Alice Wrightson were chosen to go forward in the rebuild due this year.

Read Alice’s blog

We teamed up with Huhtamaki for Sparsholt’s Gold Medal exhibit at RHS Chelsea this year and greenhouse manufacturer, Alitex, chose to work with us this year on designs for both RHS Hampton Court and RHS Tatton Park Flower Shows.

FdSc Garden Design Student, Kate Hart’s designs were chosen for the Alitex stands at both shows this year. In 2012 Helen Parson’s design was used by Alitex at RHS Chelsea and last year Alice Wrightson’s design was used at RHS Hampton Court. Both these attracted the awards for ‘Best Trade Stands’.

Nelly Hall, Alitex Brands and Events Manager, commented that choosing from the designs submitted was the toughest one yet! In the end Kate’s design was chosen in being “A complete stand plan that covered the brief well and was well presented. I liked the added height offered by the pergola, and also the raised beds offer the potential for a modular style of building to make movement of the site between Hampton Court and Tatton Park easy.” said Nelly.