TWO garden and landscape design students based at the Eden Project, near St Austell, have won medals at a prestigious garden festival.

Hayley Herridge and Victoria Cucknell, from the Cornwall College University Centre based at the tourist attraction, were awarded a gold medal and silver gilt medal, respectively, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.

Hayley and Victoria’s gardens were judged as part of the pocket planting category, open to budding garden designers who are studying or have recently graduated.

This year’s pocket planting theme was “resilience” and selected entrants for the category were mentored designer Tom Massey.

Hayley’s garden, Buglife: The B-Lines Garden, was inspired by conservation charity and sponsor Buglife’s vision of nectar-rich insect pathways criss-crossing across the UK.

The garden was designed to showcase how any garden setting can support wild bees and other pollinators. A variety of pollen and nectar-rich plants were selected to attract a multitude of bee species, including ribbons of Salvia “Caradonna” (woodland sage), drought-tolerant Daucus carota (wild carrot) and Berkheya purpurea (purple berkheya) alongside bee nesting opportunities such as sculptural bee towers, cob bricks, sandy bare ground and tussocky grasses.

Hayley said: “I felt inspired to create a garden that highlights how any garden, no matter the size, can provide for wild bees and contribute to a much greater national effort to reverse species decline. Gardens can be rich in insect life with the right plants and habitat features which benefits other wildlife and our food crops in return.”

Sponsored by Buglife and the London Buzzing Project, the garden was created using sustainable practices, including using recycled construction waste and repurposed wood. It is being relocated to community spaces post-show.

Victoria’s garden, Wild Child Cornwall, is a vibrant, biodiverse space designed with families and the North Cornwall coast in mind. Maritime-hardy planting and design included a resilient pollinator forest featuring Agapanthus africanus (African lily) and pollinator-loving Acanthus mollis (bear’s breeches). Edible flower beds of Borago officinalis (borage) and Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium) led through to living willow sculptures that invite children to play, sit and observe plants and wildlife.

Victoria, from Perranporth, said: “The opportunity to show one of my garden designs at Hampton Court has been an incredible challenge and a huge learning curve.”

Sponsored by PACE (Perranzabuloe Action for Climate Emergency), Truro School and Slope Stability South West, the garden will become a community garden in Perranporth.

The Garden and Landscape Design HNC course, which is delivered by the Cornwall College Group, is one of many postgraduate qualifications available to study at the Eden Project. Over the course of a year, students develop a holistic approach to garden and landscape design, combining art, horticulture and plant science with professional practice and development of design concepts.