Bouquets for budding Colyton gardener

Top horticultural student Nathan Gosling from Colyton

Top horticultural student Nathan Gosling from Colyton - Credit: Archant

Nathan Gosling is Young Horticulturist of the Year at Bicton College

A Colyton student, named joint winner of Bicton College’s Young Horticulturist of the Year (YHoY) competition, has gone on to achieve recognition at the South West regional heats.

Nathan Gosling and fellow Bicton champ Joe Ward took third and fourth place at the recent event.

This prestigious annual competition is a staple in the calendar for all horticulturists aged under 30 and entries are accepted from students of horticulture and those working within the industry only. Around 1,800 young people apply each year.

The two students went through to the nail-biting regional heats following their success at the first stage held at Bicton College. Joe, a level two horticulture diploma student, and Nathan, a first year foundation degree horticulture student, competed against winners from Kingston Maurwood and Sparsholt as well as a National Trust young gardener.

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The competition was stiff, involving ‘Mastermind’ styled question and answer sessions as well as buzzer rounds. Topics included garden history, plant and soil science, garden machinery, pests and diseases and plant identification. The question master and scorers were all from the national and regional Institute of Horticulture (IOH).

Benedict Murrell, lecturer of horticulture at Bicton College, said: “The Institute of Horticulture is an important forum for the horticulture industry and this competition is a good way for students and staff to take pride in their vocation, and meet experienced top professionals from the industry. Students find this national competition an eye-opener to the range of subjects and information about plants and gardens, so they always describe feeling overwhelmed but also motivated to go on to great things.”

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For more information on becoming a student at Bicton College and the wealth of courses available there, people should visit the website at

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