Sisters win chance to build at Malvern Spring Festival

The McLaughlin sisters have won the chance to build their Genetic Conservation Garden in the Festival Gardens category at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May this year.

Caitlin 25, and Tessa 22, are garden designers and are the youngest competitors in the category as well as the only ones with no horticultural, design or construction experience.

The national Festival Gardens competition initiative seeks to challenge enthusiasts to be creative and innovative in their 4m x 4m plots.

A ?3000 bursary and support from a panel of horticultural, design and construction mentors is offered to each successful applicant.

The Genetic Conservation Garden is built by Bosworth?s Landscaping, and sponsored by Stanbrook Abbey.

Caitlin McLaughlin said: ?I work with plants that are known as Crop Wild Relatives. These are often referred to by most as weeds but they are incredibly important genetically for the future proofing of our food supply.

?Conservation, identification and research into these CWR?s is vital as they hold a wealth of genetic traits such as drought and disease tolerance that can be bred into our socio-economic crops to guard against climate change challenges, new pests and diseases.

?Our garden highlights the preservation of these weeds but don?t worry it will still be beautiful, it?s a conservation paradise, an urban nature reserve.?

This year RHS Malvern Spring Festival is celebrating its 30th show, making it the oldest regional RHS show after Chelsea.

Building of the show gardens will commence on April 13, the gardens will then be judged by the RHS on May 6, the day before the RHS Malvern Spring Festival opens to the public.

An estimated 90,000 visitors are expected to descend on RHS Malvern over the four-day show.

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival will take place from May 7 till May 10.

Tickets are now on sale. Advanced tickets are priced from ?15 for RHS and Three Counties members and from ?16 for non-members. Tickets available on the gate from ?19. For information on ticket prices and celebrity?appearances please visit?

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