Chesterfield horticulture student Emily's competition win will see her design and build garden at Chatsworth Flower Show

A ‘budding’ horticulturist from Chesterfield is about to live out her wildest dreams after being selected to design and build a garden for the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 3:44 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 5:54 pm
Emily Barnes has been chosen of the winner of RHS and BBC Radio Sheffield's Design a Garden competition. Pics from @emilysgardendiary on Instagram.

Emily Barnes was cherry picked from hordes of green-fingered hopefuls as the winner of the Design a Garden competition, organised by RHS and Radio Sheffield who broke the news to the shocked 28-year-old while she was live on air.

Judges were impressed by Emily’s entry, Elements of Sheffield, which celebrates the industrial city’s link with her native Peak District.

For outdoorsy mum-of-two Emily, who is juggling motherhood with a foundation degree in Horticulture at Nottingham Trent University, it’s a dream come true.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Emily's design, Elements of Sheffield, celebrates the city's link with her native Peak District.

She said: “When I got a call to appear on the Radio Sheffield Breakfast Show, I assumed it was just to have a chat about my entry.

“I didn’t have a clue they were going to announce me as the winner, live on air- bit mean. But seriously, it has been unbelievable.

“Not only do I get to design and build the garden at the Chatsworth show, the competition winner is assigned a mentor and I now have award-winning garden designer Lee Bestall at my side. It’s overwhelming.”

Former Chesterfield College student Emily is now working to make her blooming beautiful vision a reality.

Emily is studying Horticulture at Nottingham Trent University.

“The garden features stone boulders, a water feature, a dry stone wall representing the Peak District and lots of vibrant planting,” said Emily.

“I hope it inspires visitors to the show. What’s really wonderful is I’ve already been contacted by people who’d like me to do some design work for them. I love to be out in nature, so this is a shot at my dream job. For my portfolio and exposure I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

As Emily is working with a small budget, she has asked any local businesses wishing to sponsor her to get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Sponsors already on board are Hathersage-based David Mellor Design and Sheffield-based Nest.

It's a 'dream come true' for Emily who loves being out in nature.

You can keep up to date with Emily on Instragam @emilysgardendiary

The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show runs from June 5-9. For more information visit