East Anglian themed garden in running for BBC Garden of the Year
- Credit: Archant
An East Anglian gardening duo is one of five teams battling it out to create Britain's 'garden of the year', with a beach-themed design based on the region's coast.
Every year, the BBC Gardener's World contest challenges designers and landscapers to create a garden based on a theme, with the top five entries given the chance to showcase their work to the country.
This year, the region will be represented by designer Julianne Fernandez, who lives in Aldeby, near Beccles, and Jonathan Mitchell of Suffolk landscaping firm Teasels Landscapes.
The pair will present judges with a garden based on the East Anglian coast, created almost entirely out of recycled and upcycled material.
Ms Fernandez, who has only been designing gardens full-time for three years, said she felt a mixture of excitement and nerves about creating the garden for the show.
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She said: "We knew it was a good design and that it fitted with the brief and thought it fitted with current themes too, but we weren't really confident about getting into the final. This is a big event and a huge opportunity for us."
For the duo, designing a garden which was kind to the environment was a priority, and they have drawn on the Suffolk beach town of Aldeburgh for inspiration.
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The garden will feature a boat converted into a seating area, a fisherman's hut, and furniture constructed out of ocean waste.
The designer, whose father grew up in Norfolk, said the coast had been transformed by pollution and climate change.
She said: "It's very sad when you can remember when it wasn't a problem. It's hard to see it getting worse and worse. Hopefully, over time we will find solutions and help people take it less for granted. We need to think about how we can look after our surroundings."
Mr Mitchell will travel to the NEC in Birmingham in May to construct the garden with his team of three, and Ms Fernandez will join them later in the month to provide the finishing touches.
Judges will choose their winner at the end of the four-day exhibition.