I had an amazing day at the John Innes Centre in Norwich for the Grand Final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition. The leading lights of the young horticulture industry locked horns to fight it out and find the winner of this year’s title.

It was an absolute pleasure to be the Quiz Master and I found it just as exciting as the contestants did! The audience were fantastic and the room was electric throughout.

This year, the winner of the Young Horticulturist of the Year 2014 was Chris Parsons, with an incredible score of 72!

The final scores are as follows:

Chris Parsons – 72

Jess Evans – 56

Kristina Vandenberg – 55

Guy Jones – 43

Lawrence Wright – 41

Lachlan Rae – 32

Rosie Kippen – 22

Stephen Walsh – 15

Congratulations to Chris who put up a great fight to win the crown, and congratulations to all the contestants who were of an excellent high standard. If this is a test of the quality of the young talent coming up in the industry, it’s incredibly promising for the future of horticulture!

The Young Horticulturist of the Year is the Institute of Horticulture‘s prestigious annual competition, attracting some 1800 entries each time. The prize is the Percy Thrower Travel Bursary, worth £2000!

In the past, winners have used it to travel to Peru, China, Borneo and North America to study the different environments, crops, plants, wildlife and habitats. Plus many have gone on to prestigious careers in the industry.

To find out about the incredible opportunities in the horticultural industry, visit