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Blooming marvellous

PUBLISHED: 08:35 10 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:40 20 February 2013

Blooming marvellous

Blooming marvellous

Teenage garden designer Jack Dunckley has won his second RHS silver medal at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. As Mike Beardall explains, his success is a family affair

Teenage garden designer Jack Dunckley has won his second RHS silver medal at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. As Mike Beardall explains, his success is a family affair.


JACK DUNCKLEY, a 17-year-old garden designer from Albourne, West Sussex, is celebrating his second RHS silver medal at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The plants were grown at his familys own nursery, Birchfield in Henfield. Not surprisingly Jack, who is still at Hurstpierpoint College doing A-levels, said he was absolutely delighted.
The garden was designed as an explosion of colour and a riot of English cottage garden planting, a style which will be very easy to translate into the average country garden, he said.
Even though the plants were unashamedly traditional I have brought in some interesting paving, landscaping and a canvas covered area.
The garden was constructed by his father Robert's company, Sellaway Ltd. All plants about 3,000 were supplied by Birchfield Nursery, just outside Henfield on the Horsham road, which Robert took over earlier this year.
Contractors on the Hampton Court project included Gardenscapes of Hassocks.
Jack was 15 when he became the youngest entrant to design a garden for the Malvern Spring Gardening Show in 2008. Last year he won silver medals at the London Plant and Design Show and Hampton Court and a silver-gilt at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show.
He has been gardening since the age of six with his mother Maddy who says: We are very proud of Jack. He has always been a keen gardener and has achieved so much.
His late grandmother, Roberts mother, was the daughter of a florist and a very good gardener, so it must run in the family.
Jack, who does webcast garden reports for the US each week, says he great ambition is to have a Chelsea gold medal by the age of 24 and break the current age record.
Following his A-levels he plans to do an RHS Level 2 in Horticulture and then complete his horticultural training at Kew with a three-year diploma course.
I think being in the business from such a young age will help me as I get older, particularly in this financial climate, explains Jack.
He is already talking about expansion plans for Birchfield which will include more polytunnels and increased stocks of herbaceous plants and trees. Herbaceous perennials have sold really well, better than any bedding. People do have less time and are starting to realise which plants will require less looking after.I am pretty much self-taught, explains Jack.
The important thing is to be hands-on. This year will be about finding how it all works.

Are you a Bright Young Thing


or do you know someone who is? Were on the lookout for talented youths making a splash in the world. So whether youre a budding artist, musician, sport star or academic, wed love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing byt@sussexlife.co.uk

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