Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland student Matthew has golden touch at Chelsea Flower Show

By Claire Williamson

A Northern Ireland student is celebrating after helping win a gold medal at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show.

Matthew Bradley from Crumlin was part of the Landform team that built the winning Seedlip Garden for leading designer, Dr Catherine MacDonald.

Matthew is a student at the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) at Greenmount in Co Antrim.

Paul Mooney, head of horticulture at the Greenmount campus, said he was delighted at the student's success at the famous flower show.

Mr Mooney said: "Matthew showed great promise, even from his early days as a student at Greenmount.

"He had a keen interest in garden design and construction, winning the college award for landscape design project work aged just 18.

"He honed his construction skills following his selection for the UK Worldskills Landscape Gardening Team and represented the UK in the world final in Germany.

"We are all very proud of him and what he has achieved.

"His work and his success are a real inspiration for other CAFRE horticulture students."

And while a gold medal at the iconic RHS Chelsea Flower Show is considered the pinnacle achievement of any garden designer's career, it's not the first time that Matthew has been involved in building award-winning gardens.

He worked on the Hartley Botanic Garden which was also designed by Dr MacDonald, which won the Silver Gilt at last year's Chelsea Flower Show.

The artisan garden Matthew helped build has billowing planting around a central structure that serves as an outdoor apothecary, profiling historical and modern day approaches to distilling.

And the celebrations could be set to continue as CAFRE's horticulture team are waiting to hear how their two floristry students are getting on.

Talented florists Eilis Quinn (17) and Clare McAuley (22) were competing at the show in England yesterday.

They crafted beautiful hand-tied presentation bouquets to secure their places in the final of the show.

This year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show ends on Saturday.

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