Chelsea gets the Great British Bake Off treatment

by Alice Wright

Credit: BBC/Paul Harris, copyright: Paul Harris

Six amateur garden designers will battle it out for the chance to design and build a garden on Main Avenue at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 in a new BBC programme to be broadcast next month.

The Royal Horticultural Society and the BBC have joined forces to create The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge.

Mentored by Gardeners’ World’s Joe Swift, the contestants have just four days and a limited budget to build show gardens in different styles – including cottage gardens, formal gardens and conceptual gardens. Their efforts will be scrutinised by RHS Judge James Alexander-Sinclair and gold medal-winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell.

The amateur designers have been chosen from hundreds of entries. They include 23-year-old Steph Humes and Sean Murray, 51, an occupational therapist and nurse.

They will be judged on how well they have met the brief, their horticultural knowledge, design skill and the sense of theatre that the garden brings.

In each episode, one gardener will win the Judges’ Gold, while another will be eliminated.

The winner will build a show garden at Chelsea but it will not be judged.

The competition is filmed at gardens across the country including RHS gardens Harlow Carr and Wisley, Sudeley Castle and Painswick Rococo Garden.

The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge is presented by Joe Swift and will broadcast on BBC Two. The winner’s experiences will be included in the BBC’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show coverage.

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