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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Success strikes again for CAFRE Landscape Gardening Teams

Anna, Aimee and Jacob as they near completion on their garden builds.

(L-R) Anna, Aimee and Jacob as they near completion on their garden builds.

 

Landscape Gardening talent continues to shine for College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) student, Jacob Mercer and recent graduates Aimee Copeland and Anna McLoughlin.

 

Jacob, Aimee and Anna showcased their skill and expertise on a National stage at BBC Gardeners World Live 2024, Birmingham.  These three individuals continue to succeed after undertaking the momentous task of building a show garden as part of a competition created by the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL).



Two show gardens were constructed over several days with Aimee and Jacob, being assigned a garden design to suit sunny and dry conditions (Dry Garden) and Anna and Ceri Furber (APL apprentice), being assigned a garden design suited to shady and damp conditions (Wet Garden).


Aimee and Jacob carefully planting to bring their Wet Garden to life.

Aimee and Jacob carefully planting to bring their Wet Garden to life.


Cherry Carmen designed both show gardens on behalf of the APL and the intricate design certainly challenged the competitors, but by no means deterred them.  The garden build tested many aspects of the competitors’ skills and required a huge deal of commitment to finish in time for judging on Wednesday 12 June.

 

CAFRE staff assisted the competitors throughout the build along with two current students, who will use this experience to develop their skills and prepare them for future competitions.



Aimee Copeland outlined:


“Being tasked with the construction of this Show Garden as part of the APL Competition has been a huge opportunity.  At first the challenge of Cherry’s design was daunting but to be awarded with a Gold at such a prestigious show is extremely rewarding.”


Anna and Ceri carrying out the finishing touches on the raised planter.

Anna and Ceri carrying out the finishing touches on the raised planter.


The students were provided with this opportunity following the APL WorldSkills National Final, where the top four competitors were chosen to work as two teams to construct the APL Show Gardens at BBC Gardeners World Live, 2024.

 

Aimee and Jacob built the Dry Garden, which achieved Gold, and Anna and Kerri built the Wet Garden, which was awarded a Silver Merit.  Both excellent results, which the competitors are thrilled about.



Adam Ferguson, CAFRE stated:


“I am immensely proud of the competitors' achievements.  Yet again, these competitors have reinforced CAFRE’s reputation as a leading college for delivering top-class landscape gardening education.  These competitors worked extremely hard achieving this fantastic result and they are to be commended for that.”

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