Chelsea Flower Show 2024: Alumni, tutor & student success

It’s been another successful year at Chelsea Flower Show for Garden Design Diploma alumni, students and tutors alike!

Here’s our roundup of highlights from 2024:


Students volunteer in the gardens

On the lead up to Chelsea Flower Show, students had the exciting opportunity to spend the week volunteering on gardens, and working with designers and landscapers. Working on the planting of show gardens such as the RHS Chelsea Repurposed Garden by Cityscapes, offered our students first-hand experience of what goes into making a successful show garden.

Concluding the week of volunteering, students enjoyed a pre-show walk around with Subject Lead Humaira Ikram, taking in all of the wonderful show gardens, and getting a taster of what they too can achieve!

Course Lead wins Silver Gilt for planting

Congratulations to Course Leader Humair Ikram’s Studio Ikram, who were the planting team responsible for the National Autistic Society Garden, which won silver gilt and received a fantastic response at this year’s show. The garden was designed by Sophie Parmenter & Dido Milne.

“The garden seeks to represent autistic masking and how autistic people experience this in different parts of their lives. Walls or ‘masks’ of timber and cork create a series of spaces dedicated to different types of social interaction. There is a large, covered space for family or friends, an intimate corner for a quiet conversation with a partner or for sitting by yourself and a more formal space for colleagues. A mesmerising kinetic sculpture alludes to the mind’s beauty and complexity. These three outer spaces surround the heart of the garden, a sheltered and mossy dell that embodies the space of the inner mind.”

Alumnus wins Silver Gilt for garden

Congratulations to Alumnus Matthew Childs who won the Silver Gilt Medal for the garden he designed for the Terrence Higgins Trust Bridge to 2030 Garden.

Matthew hired 2023 graduates Clarissa Freeman and Joshua Millard earlier this year, and they were part of the team working on the garden.

 “The entrance into the garden is reminiscent of the flooded base of a rejuvenated quarry landscape. The water level rises and falls, revealing a monolith slate stepping stone creating a bridge to the 2030 vision of no new HIV cases. The tombstone, which once represented death and fear, is now a crossing, leading to a secluded terrace in which to enjoy a positive, hopeful future together.”

Alumnae installation

Alumnae Sophie Knittel and Julia Hill of all-female design collective MHLK designed a vibrant sanctuary gardened called ‘Timeless Expressionism’ with luxury womenswear designer ME+EM.

study garden design

The Garden Design Diploma course is uniquely tailored and designed to prepare students for a career in the garden design industry.

The course follows the growing year which means initial study and final project work all take place in the colder winter months and practical horticulture and live projects during the spring and summer. The resulting one-year course combines practical hard landscaping and gardening skills, plant science and creative design principles in a part-time format with additional study required outside of class each week.

Find out more about studying Garden Design with us at our Bloomsbury Campus Open Evening on Wednesday 26 June, or at Virtual Open Day on Wednesday 19 June. Register your place.