The winner of the 2021 Young Horticulturist of the Year award unveiled
Person planting a seedling
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Published on

September 13 2021

The Chartered Institute of Horticulture has unveiled the 2021 Young Horticulturist of the Year at the grand final award ceremony, which took place on Saturday 4 September at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s Logan Botanic Garden.

The winner, Tim Stafford, is a third-year student on the Kew Diploma in Horticulture. He has completed his apprenticeship NVQ Level 2 in Work-Based Horticulture, working at Heckfield Place and studying at Sparsholt College, Hampshire.

Following his graduation from Kew, Tim will be starting a new job in a private garden in Cheshire. He also has a particular interest in Elms and how to propagate the types resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.

Tim commented on the win: "I enjoyed the three rounds of the competition, and it spurred me to study horticulture and botany more in my spare time, so it's been great for my continued education. The best part was meeting everyone at the final; I really enjoyed getting to know other enthusiastic horticulturists with a passion for plants and gardens."

As the winner of this year’s competition, Tim receives the £2,500 travel Bursary provided by the Percy Thrower Trust, which he will be able to use to fund a horticultural trip to anywhere in the world.

Second place went to David Pearce, (West Midlands & South Wales) who is the Head Gardener at Whatley Manor Hotel which has an emphasis on ecological and sustainability horticulture.

Third place went to Cailean Stewart, (Northern) who is a gardener at Nunnington Hall, and about to take up a new position at RHS Harlow Carr.

Competition chair Victoria George said: to be able to have a physical event after such an uncertain year was a wonderful end to the 2021 competition, eight experienced finalists went head-to-head in a very close competition and fought right to the last question where Tim came out as this year's winner, I wish him luck with all his future endeavours.

We are extremely grateful to all the sponsors who have supported this year’s YHoY competition
– Shropshire Horticultural Society, RBGE Logan Botanic Garden, Bord Bia, PlantNetwork, Adrian Stockdale: ‘Plant Names Simplified’, North of England Horticultural Society, Howard Nurseries, Squires Garden Centres, Studley College Trust and Bulldog Tools. Without whom this competition wouldn’t be possible."