Hitchin woman named Grand Designs Live Garden Designer of the Year after impressing judges including Kevin McCloud at London ExCeL

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL.

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL. - Credit: Archant

A garden designer from Hitchin has come up trumps at Grand Designs Live, winning her category after her work got the thumbs up from a judging panel led by TV guru Kevin McCloud.

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL.

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL. - Credit: Archant

Jenny Huckstep of Cultivate Design beat off competition from three rival finalists to be named Garden Designer of the Year 2016 at London’s ExCeL last weekend.

“It feels tremendous,” said Jenny.

“When Alan Gardner from the judging panel shook my hand and presented me with the award, he said: ‘Faultless’.

“I feel like all the effort has been really worthwhile.”

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL.

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL. - Credit: Archant


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Jenny had struggled to put together a team of suppliers and contractors for the final, and was on the verge of giving up just a month ago.

“I was ready to throw in the towel,” she said.

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“I literally picked up the phone to call the organisers and pull out. The phone rang once, then I hung up and pulled myself together.

“This was at the Easter weekend. I campaigned through Facebook groups to find people, and by Monday I had a contractor confirmed and three back-ups.

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL.

Jenny Huckstep at Grand Designs Live at the London ExCeL. - Credit: Archant

“Neil Blackham and Dan Moore have just been tremendous – they are more than your average builder. They work incredibly hard, and so well as a team.

“I’d also like to thank Graham Armstrong and Emilie Griffin at Hertfordshire Garden Centre. They sorted out the bamboo at such short notice.”

The judging panel was made up of Kevin McCloud, garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair, and the appropriately named Alan Gardner – the pink-haired presenter of Channel 4’s The Autistic Gardener.

Jenny is setting her sights high for the future.

“I’m going to apply to Chelsea next year,” she said.

“I’m also going to be quite busy dealing with the commissions I’ve received through this show.”

For more about Jenny’s work go to cultivate-design.com.

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